Here are some things you’ll see in the latest The Curse of La Llorona trailer: an eerie rocking horse, a door creaking open and then closing itself shut, a billowing curtain, a circle of lit candles suddenly being blown off. In sum, this James Wan-produced horror film is going for chills and thrills the likes you expect from the guy behind The Conjuring and Saw franchises. But like The Nun before it, this film from Portuguese-American director Michael Chaves is hoping to capitalize on the droves of Latino moviegoers who make such an enticing demographic in an era of diminishing box office grosses. Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, this flick takes us back to 1970s Los Angeles where the infamous legend of La Llorona is set to terrorize social worker Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) and her two young kids.
In the dark and ominous trailer, we see Anna talking with a distraught woman, Patricia (Patricia Velasquez), about her recent loss only to be warned about the mythical Llorona. “Have they heard her crying? Have they felt the sting of her tears?” she asks Anna. Those familiar with this Mexican folk tale know La Llorona — literally “The Weeping Woman” — is a mother who drowned her own children and now searches in vain for them, howling and weeping to whoever will listen and luring children to kidnap them. In Wan and Chaves’ The Exorcist meets The Conjuring universe created here, La Llorona is a haunting force that demands to be vanished before she gets her grey and aging hands on Anna’s kids. The final moments in the trailer evoke the character’s backstory by staging a frightening set-piece in Anna’s bathtub where her youngest daughter thinks the hands washing and rinsing her hair are her mother’s, only to find she’s all alone instead.
With its requisite number of jump scares and sleek camera work designed to disorient and terrify you in equal measure, The Curse of La Llorona looks like exactly the kind of Hollywoodized version of this creepy folk tale that puts an actress like Cardellini at its center. Co-starring Raymond Cruz, who’s intent on helping Anna rid her house of the spirit of La Llorona, and Marisol Ramirez as the eponymous title character herself, the horror period piece is likely to go over well with those who like a good lady-screaming-for-her-dear-life genre film. And sometimes, that’s all you need, right?
Check out the full trailer below.
The Curse of La Llorona opens in theaters on April 19, 2019.