Based on the 300 hundred-year-old Mexican folklore, The Curse of La Llorona is the 6th installment in Warner Bros’ Conjuring Universe. The movie’s antagonist is the ghost of La Llorona, the ‘weeping woman’ who targets young children as prey.
Surprisingly though, La Llorona doesn’t want to harm the children. She’s looking for kids to raise as her own. It’s not her fault she ends up drowning the kids she comes into contact with— not entirely, at least.
(In her defense, if left alone with my neighbor’s annoying kid long enough, I’d probably do that too. Or I’d just drown myself. There’s no telling with children.)
So does La Llorona drown kids because they annoy her? Why does she go after them in the first place? And how does any of this tie in with Annabelle and the rest of the Conjuring Universe?
Don’t worry; I don’t ask questions I don’t have the answers to.
1. What’s The Curse Of La Llorona In The Conjuring Universe?
The myth tells the story of Maria, mother of two, finding out about her husband’s affair. In a fit of rage, Maria drowns the kids as an act of revenge on the father. When she realizes what she’s done, Maria drowns herself but is cast out of heaven until she can find her kids.
The movie, though, never explicitly talks about why La Llorona drowned her kids. And it’s hard to be sure if the movie went with the reason of her husband’s infidelity or if they plan on altering it to suit their version of the story. But the central theme remains: Maria drowned her children and roams the earth looking for them as a cursed spirit.
La Llorona looks for her kids in other young children but ends up drowning them every time. That’s her curse: repeating the crime that turned her into a monster for all eternity. The bonus factor is that she gets to be utterly alone, regretting what she did to her kids.
It makes sense since La Llorona is a story parents tell young kids to keep them in line. “Go to bed, or La Llorona will come to get you.”
I don’t know about you, but despite being a grown adult, I’d prefer my comfy bed over the prospect of dealing with this lady.
1.1 How Different Is It From La Llorona’s Myth In Real Life?
The movie’s version of La Llorona mostly sticks to the folklore — minus the necklace and the piece of wood that kills her. The myths never mention a necklace given to La Llorona by her kids or that she can be killed by wood from the tree where she drowned herself.
These were creative choices included by the production team. I suppose they needed to incorporate some kind of weakness, since the oral tellings don’t really discuss ways to defeat her. The only advice I got when speaking with a few Redditers, who grew up with these legends, were along the lines of: “You want safe? Run the other way. Run like hell and never look back.”
Sound advice, not going to lie.
Curiously though, the older version of La Llorona is entirely different from both the popular American horror movie version and the Mexican bedtime story.
The story of La Llorona is a myth that evolved over time, and the farthest we can trace it back to is the Aztec Goddess Cihuacoatl. The gist is that Cihuacoatl abandoned her son, but by the time she regretted it and returned, he was long gone. Devastated, the Goddess cried tears so heavy it filled the lake Xochimilco — The place she would spend the rest of eternity crying as she mourned the loss of her son.
Again, the theme is still consistent with the mother being the reason behind her child’s death and then promptly spending an eternity wailing. I have a theory that the lake Cihuacoatl filled with her tears evolved into the lake La Llorona drowned her kids in.
However, the point is that in these earlier versions, La Llorona didn’t go after anybody’s kids. She looked terrifying, but she was harmless and spent her nights crying at the top of her lungs (my cat does that too, but the little drama queen only wants attention at the most ungodly hours). Her cries were said to bring misfortune and death to anyone, so naturally, people avoided that.
2. How Is La Llorona Related To Annabelle And The Conjuring Universe?
The Curse of La Llorona makes two references to the previous Conjuring movies. First, Father Perez (Tony Amendola) mentions his past with Annabelle. Second, when Rafael (Raymond Cruz) mentions “a couple on the East Coast who lookout for things like this.” He’s obviously talking about the Warrens.
The scene showed Anna hand Rafael the original necklace of La Llorona and ask him what he’ll do with it. He says, “I know a couple on the East Coast who lookout for things like this; it’ll be safe with them.”
Though this scene was deleted during the theatrical release, it was included in the Blu-Ray DVDs. Now, we can only assume the necklace safely made it back to the Warrens. But with the Curse of La Llorona ending on such an ambiguous note (I don’t know what I’m supposed to make of a puddle of black tears), they probably don’t plan on letting La Llorona retire from her children hunting game just yet. Personally, I’m hoping that all the demons and cursed folks in the Warrens Museum team up Avengers-style and terrorize humans. That’s something I’d pay to watch over and over again.
3. About The Curse of La Llorona
The Curse of La Llorona (or The Curse of The Weeping Woman) is a 2019 supernatural horror film directed by Micheal Chaves and produced by James Wan. It is the sixth installment in The Conjuring Universe, but can be watched as a standalone.
It stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velásquez as the main cast.
The movie is based on the Latin American folklore of La Llarona and follows the story of a social care worker who must go to extreme lengths to protect her children from the malevolent spirit of La Llorona.