"This is a ghost who hunts children" - Take an exclusive look at The Curse of La Llorona... if you dare

An image from The Curse of La Llorona

If you’re planning your 2019 horror fix, The Curse of La Llorona might be just the ticket. Inspired by Mexican folk tales of La Llorona, AKA the Weeping Woman, the film is produced by James Wan (creator of Saw and The Conjuring universe).

Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks, Avengers: Age of Ultron) stars as Anna, a mother drawn into a nightmarish situation with La Llorona. The film is set in the ’70s, which should be another factor that sets it apart from next year’s other horror offerings.

You can take an exclusive look at the spookiness that’s in store in the exclusive image below, courtesy of our sister publication Total Film magazine. The creepy crone lurks ominously in the background: hear her death call and you’re done for. Get a load of the image for yourself below…

The Weeping Woman appears in The Curse of La Llorona

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Being based on folklore means that there was a wealth of existing stories to draw on, stories that have been passed down through generations. “The trick with La Llorona is that it’s an oral tradition, and there’s a ton of variations,” director Michael Chaves tells Total Film. “But the essence is always the same: This is a ghost who hunts children.”

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With a potentially overwhelming amount of material to tap into, Chaves – who is making his feature directing debut with The Curse of La Llorona – had to streamline it for the movie version. “I wanted to honour the essence of what makes her legend so enduring,” he says. “My hope is the movie will feel authentic to people who grew up hearing the stories, but that those who didn’t will feel that same sense of terror when they encounter this amazing figure.”

And, he hopes that the ’70s setting will add an extra frisson of terror to the film. "With a period movie, you get a sense of mystery that you can’t have in the Google age,” Chaves adds. “We wanted to create a sense of discovery as to who La Llorona is.”

The Curse of La Llorona opens in the US and UK on April 19, 2019, and you can read more about it in Total Film's new issue, which hits shelves on Friday, December 14.

La Llorona is just one of the 33 reasons to get hyped for next year's upcoming movies in Total Film’s 2019 preview, including Avengers 4, Star Wars 9, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Toy Story 4, and more. The new issue also reflects on the best movies of 2018, with a special Review of the Year supplement.

If you never want to miss an issue of Total Film magazine next year, why not subscribe? If you sign up, My Favourite Magazines will deliver every new issue through your letterbox before it hits shelves, and you’ll save money on the cover price. And with the current Christmas subs offer, you can get a free Marty McFly Playmobil figure and an '80s bookazine when you subscribe for as little as £17.50 (Ts and Cs apply). What are you waiting for?

(Image credit: Total Film)
Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.