As a kid growing up in a Hispanic household I was subjected to three types of culturally specific threats. The first was the ever present threat of the chancla if I was being a little shit. The second was the creature who hid in the darkest places of my imagination: el cucuy. And then third was tales of La Llorona.
My grandparents house was out in the countryside and it was down the road from a little lake. Whenever I spent the night I would always beg my grandma to tell me a scary story and her favorite story was about La Llorona. This is the kind of urban legend that everyone has a spin on. The kind of thing where everyone knows where it happened and who it happened too. In my grandma’s version of the story La Llorona was a woman who lost her husband and went crazy trying to raise her kids on her own. Eventually she wasn’t able to handle the pressure and she took her kids down to the lake and drowned them. When she came to her senses she was horrified by what she had done and killed herself. However, her tortured soul is now doomed to wander around looking for children to replace the ones she had killed. It’s said that late at night you can hear her wailing, screaming for children.
All that being said, they’re now making a movie about “La Llorona”, so I’m kind of putting a lot of importance on this movie. There have been plenty of low budget and direct-to-dvd takes on the story, but to my knowledge this is the first big Hollywood production about the story. The film is being directed by Michael Chaves and stars Linda Cardellini. Here’s how Warner Bros describes the movie:
In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.
“The Curse of La Llorona” hits theaters on April 19, 2019.