The Curse of La Llorona: the story of the legend behind the movie

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The Curse of La Llorona is the last horror film produced by James Wan, who in the last decades has been able to offer us stories of fear that will be remembered as the most frightening visions of these years: Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, Lights Out, Annabelle and The Nun are just a few of the productions he triggered from 2000 to date. And the peculiarity is that, somehow, real stories exist behind most of these films: The Nun is inspired by a demon who really existed, You can visit Annabelle’s doll in real life and the whole Conjuring saga is based on the real life of the Ed and Lorraine Warren. Also behind The Curse of La Llorona there is something already known. Not a true story, but a popular legend in Mexico, a kind of horror version of the boogieman that helps parents to prevent children from staying out in late evening.

La Llorona in Spanish means “the crying woman”. According to the Mexican folk legend, she was a woman who lived in a country village. His name was Maria and one day he met a wealthy man who passed by the village. The two fell in love and he asked for her hand, something that made her whole family happy, finally seeing the entrance of a wealthy person as the daughter’s husband. The father of him didn’t approve the wedding and for this reason, after getting married, they went in a house that the husband built for her in the village.

The woman gave birth to two twins, a boy and a girl. The husband was often away for work, and soon he became more and more distant. When returning from his trips, he gave attentions only to the children, and Mary soon realized that he was no longer in love with her. One day her husband left and never came back.

Years later, while Maria was walking along a river with her children, she saw her (ex) husband together with a young woman, on a carriage that was passing by at that moment. Distraught, in the rage of the moment, instinctively she took the two children and threw them into the river, drowning them. Only after seeing their dead bodies floating on the water, she realized what she did and and, taken from the despair, she jumped into the same river.

Legend has it that, at the gates of Heaven, she was challenged about her children and she was forbidden to enter until she would find them, expiating her guilt. Since then, according to folklore, La Llorona wanders on Earth crying, and whoever hears her cries is destined to great misfortune and death. And if she sees children, she kidnaps them and tries to drown them as well, like she did with her real children.

Several films have been made about the popular legend of La Llorona, starting from the first, Mexican production of 1961. The one produced by James Wan, out in April 2019, will be the first modern production about the topic.

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