A spectral figure of Latin-American folklore dating back hundreds of years, La Llorona, or "The Weeping Woman," was scorned by her lover, subsequently drowning her children—and then herself—in a fit of rage. Now a violent, tear-strewn spirit, she seeks to claim the lives of mortal children in hopes of trading their lives for her own departed kids. The feature directorial debut of Michael Chaves, "The Curse of La Llorona" uses this legendary figure as nightmare fodder for a big-screen collection of jack-in-the-box set-pieces. The film's jump scares rarely work as well as they should, and yet there is an earthy quality to its 1973 Los Angeles setting, some lustrously dramatic cinematography courtesy of Michael Burgess, and a certain gritty showmanship in its portrayal of a mad villain nearly ceaseless in her deadly pursuit. Not exactly standing up to close scrutiny, however, is the screenplay by Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis (2019's "Five Feet Apart"). More character beats and less contrivances could have only helped. Still, as the latest entry fitting within "The Conjuring Universe," this one is a touch more satisfying than the last, 2018's atmospheric but severely plodding "The Nun."
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review