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Curse of La Llorona, The


Stars: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Raymond Cruz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Tony Amendola

Director: Michael Chaves

A neat little horror film that never deviates from its central theme. A malevolent 17th-century Mexican poltergeist-style ghost, the 'weeping woman', attacks single mothers to take - and drown - their children, in consequence of drowning her own two little ones, in revenge against her husband for taking another woman.

Widowed care worker Anna (Cardellini) is on the case of the haunted Mrs Alvarez (Velasquez), whom she finds in her enshrined house, surrounded by hundreds of candles, and with her two children locked away in a closet.

The youngsters are taken into care, but the ghost pursues them and, when they are found drowned, the grieving mother blames Anna, and transfers the curse of La Llorona to Anna and her own two children (Christou, Kinchen). The ghastly grip of the spectre burns the arms of all three, before a sort-of exorcist (Cruz) is called in to keep La Llorona at bay.

Doors creak, rocking horses rock by themselves and Look! She's behind you!

I could have done without the semi-comic exorcist and his unfunny asides - any humour in this one falls flat - but Cardellini, the class act here, is first-rate as the besieged mom and keeps the film together through thick and thin, while the two kids pretty much hold their own.

Despite all the creeping, crawling and swooping, Chaves directs his movie at quite a pace.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers (New Line). Colour by Fotokem.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Apr 2019