WARNING: Mild Spoiler Warning for The Curse of La Llorona
It turns out that The Curse of La Llorona is officially part of the Conjuring Universe. Originally marketed as a standalone supernatural horror film, early screenings of the film have confirmed that it exists within the same world as the Warrens, Valak the Nun, and the possessed doll Annabelle.
Based on a spirit from Latin American folklore, The Curse of La Llorona follows a woman named Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) in the 1970s who discovers that an evil entity known as La Llorona is latching onto her - but not for her specifically. The entity wants Anna's children. In folklore, La Llorona (aka the Weeping Woman) is said to be a spirt who lost her children and now haunts other living children to claim for her own. Now, even though it was assumed that The Curse of the La Llorona would be a standalone film, it turns out that this isn't the case. The film is part of a much bigger - and highly-profitable - horror franchise.
According to Meagan Navarro's review of the film, which screened at SXSW, The Curse of La Llorona makes it very clear that this film is part of the Conjuring Universe. However, not unlike films within this universe like Annabelle or The Nun, the connection isn't necessarily laid on thick (for the most part, at least). For example, in this film, the connective thread is Tony Amendola's Father Perez, the same character from Annabelle (he was originally listed as this character on IMDb, even before the Conjuring connection was made official). In The Curse of La Llorona, he mentions his experience with the possessed doll, placing this film in the midpoint of the Conjuring timeline (after The Nun, Annabelle, and Annabelle: Creation, but before The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2).
While this might be surprising for some fans, the film's connection with the Conjuring Universe runs even deeper. The Curse of La Llorona's director, Michael Chaves, will also direct the third Conjuring film, which is expected to go into production sometime this summer. So, if nothing else, this film can serve as a kind of litmus test for fans of the universe to get a better idea as to what sort of tone - and more importantly, what kind of scares - he'll be bringing as James Wan's replacement.
On one hand, adding yet another film to the Conjuring Universe might seem like overkill, especially if it doesn't add anything vital to the overarching narrative. That said, just like the films, it's also harmless fun. At the end of the day, horror can be hit or miss with studios, so the fact that it's currently so mainstream opens the genre up to bold, genre-pushing possibilities - even if these possibilities sometimes feel a bit forced.
Source: Bloody Disgusting
- The Curse of La Llorona (2019) release date: Apr 19, 2019