What would you do if one night what you thought was just a character in a story to scare children is watching you from the other end of your bed? That question -we as adults sometimes think about, specially when we are home alone – is the question American director Michael Chaves uses as the backbone for his star leap from editor and special effects artist, to director on the sixth feature film in The Conjuring Universe (TCU). The name of the movie? The Curse of La Llorona, a nod to the latino heritage starring one of the most famous ghosts in the folklore south of the Rio Grande.
So, if you are not familiar with the tale of La Llorona – The Weeping Woman, or maybe you watched the entire film and ended up with some questions, do not worry because right away and with no further ado, we are going to analyze in deep what exactly was going on in this movie ¡Let’s Explain!
1 | The Curse of La Llorona has any post-credit scenes?
You might believe that being part of The Conjuring Universe (TCU), The Curse of La Llorona would have a post-credits scene, as to connect the universe and so on. But no, the truth is that there are no post-credit scenes, although there is a connection with the rest of TCU, a connection that we will explain further on.
2 | Where exactly did the legend of La Llorona come from?
According to reliable sources who have researched the legend of La Llorona, the origin of it is rooted in an indigenous substrate, since in most pre-Hispanic peoples the deity or spirit associated with water is in fact a woman.
With the arrival of the spanish conquerors and settlers, an effective means of keeping the newcomers at bay was through psychological terror, in which the local legends were distorted to instill terror in the european invaders, or to justify the disappearance of a peninsular that the natives found lost and alone in the middle of their ancestral lands.
The researchers suggest that the latter may have occurred mainly in Mexico, and that the story was spread throughout the territories of the Spanish Empire, including South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines, finding support in the parallels. For example, in the Colombian Caribbean the legend gained strength because of the tribal beliefs of the african slaves and that were passed from generation to generation. It was easy to associate the spirit from Mexico with their own local female water spirits.
In the same way, in places where the african or indigenous component was not as wide and strong, as in the Southern Cone, the legend was magnified rather by urban myths, perhaps based on real stories, such as women who accidentally murder their children. or after a postpartum depression.
3 | Where did La Llorona come from in the movie?
But in the film, La Llorona does not have such an ambiguous origin and has its origin in a tragedy that occurred in the 17th century in Mexico. A mestizo woman manages to marry a Spanish hidalgo, the best catch of the region where she lived, hidalgo from which she had two children.
However, the hidalgo, who had probably married her to maintain some kind of popular favor among the locals, soon gets bored of her and gets a mistress, and not one of the odd nights. It was in fact a fairly serious relationship, so when the mestiza finds out what is happening, she loses her mind and decides to hurt the hidalgo in what hurts him the most: his children.
The mestiza takes her two children and submerges them in a river until they drown, however, seeing their corpses on the shore, she regrets her crime and trapped by guilt, decides to throw herself into those same waters. However, guilt and remorse condemned her to wander the world trying to make up for the fault committed. Although each time he tries, he ends up murdering more and more children with what his fault grows and grows until it corrupts her spirit completely.
4 | And how was it that La Llorona arrived in the United States?
Well, but if La Llorona was very calm, hunting spoiled children in Mexico, what was the need to go illegal into the United States, exposing herself to Trump’s detentions and deportations? – Well, but seriously. How did that spirit so rooted in Mexico end up hunting children in Hollywood?
La Llorona, at least in the film, and like the rest of the scares on the TCU, has the quality of clinging not to a place, but to a family group. And once it ends with the children of a family, anyone who has been in contact with that family during the haunting, is next on the ghostly blacklist. Perhaps a family from Mexico, fleeing the curse, settled in Los Angeles and over time, the curse passed to the Alvarez.
Apparently La Llorona also has some sort of voicemail that allows her to receive petitions in exchange for children. Once in America, if you want something, you better work, bitch.
5 | Why did Patricia keep her children locked in that weird bedroom?
But despite all her teleportation powers that allow her to appear from one place to another when she is on her work of horror, La Llorona seems to find it difficult to open doors or find things or people who are not at first sight. Especially in rooms or places where she had not previously been.
That’s why when La Llorona clung to Patricia (Patricia Velásquez) and her children, Carlos (Oliver Alexander) and Tomás (Aiden Lewandoski), the woman made sure to place her children in a place La Llorona had not entered before.
But, what do the candles and eyes painted on the bedroom door mean? Well, candles are a way to keep the murderous spirit away, or at least force it to try harder to enter. And the numerous eyes seems to be some kind of a distraction or a camouflage to prevent the spirit to find it and use her full wind powers to knock the door down.
6 | Why La Llorona was haunting Anna’s family?
When Anna (Linda Cardellini), who is a Child Protective Services agent in Los Angeles, receives a call in the middle of the night, informing her that the children she had to protect from a negligent mother appeared drowned, she has no choice but to go out and cover the fact, taking her own children in their car. It would have been much worse to leave them alone at home. In L.A.
What Anna did not count on is that her oldest son, Chris (Roman Christou) was going to wake up and get out of the car. In his childish fantasy of being a policeman like his father, Chris was sneaking onto the place where the bodies were left. There he saw La Llorona lamenting having failed once more. And when he saw her, he was tied to her.
When Patricia arrives, she tells Anna that she was responsible for the death of her children, when she took them out of the closed bedroom and that -for this reason – she begged La Llorona to haunt Anna’s own children. It would be rather strange that La Llorona had tied herself to Anna’s family if Chris had not seen her, so it is likely what Patricia said was merely an unsupported superstition.
7 | Why was Patricia helping La Llorona?
But the matter with Patricia is that in the end she did much more than simply ask La Llorona to take Anna’s children. Patricia went to the Garcia’s house to make things easier for evil spirit. Here two things could have happened.
The first is that, after being released, Patricia simply went to return the «favor» to Anna to take their children out of any hiding place where he had put them to get them out of the way of ghost. Which is the most feasible. And the second is that after seeing that Anna had got help with the curandero Rafael Olvera, La Llorona concluded that she also needed some extra help. Although the latter does not convince me at all.
8 | What is the way to scare La Llorona away?
The ex-priest Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz) agreed to help the Garcia family after being moved by the two children trapped in the curse of La Llorona, so he decided to take out his arsenal to put an end to the fright. Apparently La Llorona has serious problems with the following elements or situations:
- Opening or closing doors from places where you have not been before. It is a somewhat strange weakness, which may have something to do with the fact that being intangible can only access places you know, or where the door is open. More or less like vampires.
- The holy water and other religious contraptions. This is a common weakness in the spirits of world folklore, and on this side of the world is related to artifacts of Catholic origin. The reason, beyond the meaning of the cross and those things, has to do with faith. It is not for nothing that there is that saying that faith moves mountains.
- The fire tree, including wood, seeds and leaves. This seems to be an original contribution of the movie writers. The tree of fire is a tree of Australian origin that when losing its leaves, it is filled with orange flowers. If anyone has any idea why it would affect La Llorona, please let me know in the comments section.
- The necklace that originally carried. The reason why La Llorona’s necklace weakens her is because it reminds her of who she originally was. Recall that the spirit of La Llorona is corrupt after having killed their children, commit suicide and then in its intangible form, continue to kill people in large numbers. That is why the weakness is merely temporary.
9 | In what chronological order is La Llorona in The Conjuring Universe?
Here I have the list:
- The Nun, takes place in 1952.
- Annabelle: The Creation, takes place in 1955.
- Annabelle, takes place in 1967.
- The Curse of La Llorona, takes place around 1970.
- The Conjuring, takes place in 1971.
- The Conjuring 2, takes place in 1976.
So, although The Curse of La Llorona is the sixth film in the series, chronologically it would be the fourth.
10 | How The Curse of La Llorona fits in The Conjuring Universe?
The connection is not as easily perceived as might be expected. In fact it is the character of Father Pérez, who appears in the first Annabelle film, the only element in common and even that cameo is shown as merely accidental. Father Pérez (Tony Amendola) tells Anna about his experience with a certain demonic doll he had once dealt with, the very same Annabelle. And we all already know where Annabelle came from, and especially where it ended.
11 | What does the end of The Curse of La Llorona mean?
At the end of the film we see how La Llorona literally disintegrates after being stabbed with the cross made of wood from the fire tree. The Garcias seem to return to their ordinary life again, despite the investigation of child abuse that the CPS raised after seeing the signs of La Llorona on the children’s arms. And we do not really know how that ended.
In the final scene, we see a weird puddle near the Garcias house and the movie goes to black. The implicit meaning in this last frame is that although La Llorona has been defeated and unleashed from the house of Los García, it has not disappeared at all, and that it will soon be back, looking for more children with whom to replace their own.
12 | What is the message of the movie?
Although the message of the film is quite diluted and rather lightly worked, it is notorious that there is talk about the extremes that a mother can reach for her children, to believe in the incredible, to let herself be carried away by her evil side, and to raise her children alone.
But also in fact the movie invites us to believe and speak when there are warning signs, Anna, Chris and Sam at first tried to hide everything they had seen, for fear of being branded as crazy or upset and they let the problem go stronger. Anna also rejected Patricia’s words when she warned her not to take her children out of the room where they were confined.
I think that many times things happen to us that we prefer to deny, to convince ourselves that they are not happening, or that they do not exist at all, that they are inventions or perhaps a mistake. However, as we let the problem grow, we try to hide it, hide it from the view of others, until the issue is uncontrollable and it gets out of hand and now, it is necessary to cry for help.
The lesson, perhaps accidental that this film leaves us is that when there is a problem or difficulty, it is important to assume it, yes, it may have been an error, but instead of standing idly by doing nothing, it’s time to put our hands to work , check or discard and above all, never try to hide. The best we can do is seek help on time, not when the problem is literally uncontrollable.
Questions? Annotations? Doubts? Insults? The comments section is open just below this post. See you in another post of Explained, here on El Sabanero X.