The Curse of La Llorona Parent Guide
This film ratchets up the scare factor, but it's still hard to forget the problems with the script.
Parent Movie Review
Anna (Linda Cardellini), a social worker in Los Angeles, is struggling to handle her caseload as well as her two children after the death of her husband. However, she is unwilling to abandon the families she’s responsible for and goes to help Patricia (Patricia Velasquez), a mother who has spent a long time on her list. When she gets there and finds Patricia’s kids locked in a closet covered in talismanic drawings, she realizes something is very wrong. Her concern only increases when those children then disappear from the care home to which they are subsequently assigned and reappear drowned next to the river. It doesn’t occur to Anna that whatever Patricia was trying to shield her children from might be real, or that it might be following her now. From Patricia, Anna learns that the killer is La Llorona - the weeping woman - a deranged mother who drowned her children and herself, and who now comes for children to replace her own…children like Anna’s.
Credit to The Curse of La Llorona, this is the first horror movie I’ve been in where I heard a couple of people scream at varying points. Throw in some muffled swearing coming from the rest of the audience, and I’m going to go way out on a limb and say this is a pretty scary flick. The movie maintains a high degree of unbroken tension throughout, and certainly kept this audience on the edge of their seats. So much so that one person ran out in the middle, only to return about 15minutes later.
While it excels at keeping the audience apprehensive and jittery, La Llorona does fall into a lot of standard horror movie traps. Although the titular baddie has the ability to “summon” the people she’s touched, she uses this ability all of three times, despite the fact that it would have really simplified a huge chunk of the plot. Better yet, she does that horror villains thing where they have every opportunity to kill their prey but don’t, presumably because the studio asked them nicely to make sure the movie maintains a feature length runtime. I’m also questioning how willing these terrified children are going to be to keep investigating ominous sounds in the middle of the night. Hiding under the covers may not be the bravest move, but when you’re ten years old, it’s preferable to wandering into your dark attic to find out who’s making the creepy crying sounds.
As far as content goes, there is remarkably little for parents to be concerned with. None of the violence is especially graphic or intense, and there’s almost no swearing that I noticed. From what I can tell, this movie got an “R” rating for being unreasonably scary. But if you’re into that, you’ll probably have a great time here. While the plot is pretty standard horror fare, it’s well shot, decently acted, and well-paced. As horror movies go, you could do a lot worse than The Curse of La Llorona – if the plot holes don’t make you scream in frustration .Directed by Michael Chaves. Starring Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Marisol Ramirez. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release April 19, 2019. Updated April 19, 2019
The Curse of La Llorona
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Curse of La Llorona rated R? The Curse of La Llorona is rated R by the MPAA for violence and terror
Violence: A woman is shown drowning a child from a distance. A boy sees his mother choke and drown his brother. A story is told about a woman who drowned her children and herself and now kills other children. Two people are choked and then thrown. A ghost screams and jumps at children. A close up of a ghost screams at the audience while black tears come out of her eyes. Two children’s bodies, under sheets, are shown from a distance. Several individuals are grabbed, and this grabbing leaves distinctive burns. An individual is held under water but survives. Some blood is shown coming out of an egg. A tar-like substance comes from an egg. Other eggs spin, explode, and spray black tar on a woman’s face. Children go into trances. There is lots of door slamming, window squeaking, and floor creaking. Audiences hear lots of screaming. An individual is non-fatally shot in the shoulder. An individual is stabbed with a crucifix. A woman threatens a ghost with a baseball bat. A woman points a gun at one character and shoots another in the shoulder. Characters are locked into closets. A woman locks another character in a basement. A ghost causes mirrors to crack on a few occasions.
Sexual Content: No sexual content is seen, discussed, or described. An individual is shown from the neck up in a bath.
Profanity: One use of scatological reference. About a dozen terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Two adults are shown having a glass of wine with dinner.
Page last updated April 19, 2019
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood and Co. series follows an intrepid team of teenage ghost-busters in a strangely different version of London. Appropriate for teens.
For more period ghost stories check out the collection Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories. This isn’t a children’s book but is a collection of old ghost stories Dahl found in the British Museum Library. Some 19th century language makes the book suitable for older readers.
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A mother protects her children from supernatural forces in The Others.