Horror movies aren’t for everyone. Some aren’t for anyone. But while fright flicks are often freighted with lots of really, really problematic content, some also contain interesting themes, too. Unlike most genres, they have license to deal explicitly with some of the biggest spiritual issues we face: What is evil? What lies in the hereafter? What are our real priorities?
The Curse of La Llorona, out this weekend, deals explicitly with those questions and more—in both positive and problematic ways. But it also has a lot to say about motherhood: its power, its beauty, and how terrible it can look when it’s twisted and corrupted.
I had a chance to interview some of the folks involved with the movie recently (courtesy Warner Bros. and Grace Hill Media) on the Warner Bros. backlot, at the studio’s famous jungle set (where, among other things, the T-Rex/Jeep chase scene from Jurassic Park was filmed). Any screams you hear in the background are courtesy the studio, infusing the set with some La Llorona-like atmosphere.
I sat down with stars Linda Cardellini (Green Book; Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy). Both play strong, scared moms in La Llorona—one grieving the loss of her children, the other doing whatever she can to protect them. We talked about the film’s strong female characters and whether being real-life moms themselves helped them in their roles. And we also talked about how the child actors in the film were protected from all the scary stuff going on around them. Take a look:
I explored the subject a bit as well with director Michael Chaves and actor Raymond Cruz, who plays the film’s man of faith. Here’s what they had to say:
If you’re interested in hearing more of what Chaves and Cruz had to say about the spirituality in The Curse of La Llorona—and if you’ve read my review, you know there’s a whole bunch of it—check out more of our conversation here.
Again, none of this should be taken as a stamp of approval for the R-rated The Curse of La Llorona. But I like hearing what folks behind the movie have to say and want to achieve with their work. And for a few who do see this unsettling movie this weekend, they may come away with more than goosebumps.