New horror flick The Curse of the Weeping Woman – released in the States as The Curse of La Llorana, but there’s little us Aussies find scarier than foreign languages, apparently – proudly boasts that it’s “From the producers of The Conjuring universe” on its posters. I’d interpreted that as typical sleight of hand, but nope! Turns out this film is (very tangentially) connected to The Conjuring.
That connection’s intended to contribute to Weeping Woman’s takings, but it also makes a fairly generic horror film a fraction more interesting. By itself, this is a fairly generic horror film, pairing supernatural parental anxiety – more Mama than Rosemary’s Baby – with Hispanic myth – think Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.
But the connection to The Conjuring universe – in which this sits solidly in the middle, quality-wise – reinforces the uncomfortable ideology underpinning those films. They’re originally drawn from the real-life Warrens’ tales to entice gullible audiences expecting a true story, and much like these con-artists, exploit the human tendency to prioritise cultish mysticism over rationality and authority. Scarier than any ghost in Weeking Woman is the subtext – shared with its Conjuring forebears – that its viewers should disregard, say, Child Protective Services in favour of ancient, pseudo-Christian legend.