La Llorona review: not the ghost story you’re expecting

Sundance Institute

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2019, the blockbuster Conjuring franchise produced a film called The Curse of La Llorona, which is generally considered pretty bad. This is unfortunate, because it’s going to confuse a lot of people who hear about the contemporaneous La Llorona — an excellent indie movie that puts a supernatural twist on a story of very human horror.

La Llorona is technically about La Llorona, the weeping spirit of a woman cursed for drowning her children. But Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante weaves the legend into a broader parable about the generations-long fallout of a…

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