Runtime: 1h 37m
Director: Jayro Bustamante
Writers: Jayro Bustamante, Lisandro Sanchez
Stars: María Mercedes Coroy, Sabrina De La Hoz, Margarita Kenéfic
Initial: This is *not* the reportedly rather bad The Curse of La Llorona that is a backdoor Conjuring franchise movie.
Production Notes: Dialog is primarily in Spanish and Kaqchikel, an indigenous Mesoamerican language.
What Did I Think:
I am really glad this movie exists. I had never heard of La Llorona until I moved to Arizona and, for me, it’s a legend that I don’t see often fictionalized, which is a shame. The legend of La Llorona is re-contextualized here in Guatemala as a spirit looking to exact justice on a dictator who is unpunished for his role in the genocide of native Mayans. General Monteverde is trapped in his house by protestors with his wife, his daughter, and granddaughter and a small staff of guards and servants. He seemingly being haunted by a weeping woman, and his family has to come to grips with his past.
La Llorona is a slow, deliberate movie. Director Jayro Bustamante and cinematographer Nicolás Wong create some shots that really do look like paintings. And, while this movie is slow, I never found it boring.
I’ve noticed when reading about a few of my recent movie choices that reviews especially point out “if you’re a fan of horror, don’t expect jump scares in this one” which I think is dismissive of horror fans, but also does speak to the wide range of films that is included in the horror genre. La Llorona combines the supernatural and the horrors that men do and does it quietly.