Shudder: Festival favorite La Llorona deals with real life horror

La Llorona: A Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder
La Llorona: A Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Shudder Original La Llorona is available to watch on the horror streaming site today, and the buzz on this film is really strong.

First of all, don’t confuse this version of the La Llorona story with the poorly reviewed The Curse of La Llorona from The Conjuring universe. While Curse was relatively successful at the box office, it earned the distinction of being the lowest grossing film in the franchise. Shudder’s version of the Hispanic American folk tale comes to us with a slew of Film Festival awards and accolades.

The original legend of La Llorona (The Wailing Woman) tells of a woman whose husband loved their two sons more than he loved her. When she discovered her husband had been unfaithful, she drowned their sons and then herself. Because of this, she was not allowed into heaven, and is doomed to walk the earth in search of the souls of her children. To pass the time, she wails and drowns children, so it’s hard to feel too sorry for her.

Shudder’s film is set in Guatemala, where a retired general named Enrique is being charged with genocide for the long ago massacre of Mayans in his country. While Enrique is very ill, he is unrepentant about the massacre. When the charges are dropped, angry citizens gather outside the general’s home as he and his family shelter inside.

While Enrique’s wife, daughter and granddaughter struggle with their decision to protect him, a vengeful, ghostly presence is heard crying in the house, the residents begin having strange dreams and the household staff abandons the family. With only one loyal housekeeper remaining, a mysterious young woman named Alma shows up seeking employment.

La Llorona
La Llorona: A Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder /

La Llorona has taken the original folk tale and set it in near present times, using the current backdrop of Guatamala’s recent violent turmoil and politics to add relevance. The country has very high levels of inequality, poverty and violence, combined with corrupt government. That’s horror in real life, which is often more frightening than fictional tales.

After La Llorona was screened at various festivals, the reviews were extremely positive, with the film often described as dark and character-driven.

La Llorona is presented in Spanish with subtitles, and can only be streamed on Shudder. If you are a new Shudder subscriber, you can receive a free 30 day trial by visiting the Shudder website and using the code SHUTIN at checkout. Please note that you can only get the 30 day trial through the website.

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Are you intrigued enough to watch La Llorona on Shudder? Have you already watched it? Tell us all about it in the comments section.