Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Curse of La Llorona
Another new installment of The Conjuring universe is out in theaters, but how exactly does The Curse of La Llorona connect to the larger horror franchise? We’re here to break down the crossover elements and where The Curse of La Llorona falls in the overall canon of The Conjuring series.
When New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. released The Conjuring in 2013, they had no idea just how big it would become. The James Wan directed film is viewed as one of the modern classics of the genre and received great critical praise upon its release. This translated to the box office too, where The Conjuring grossed $319 million worldwide on just a $20M budget. The studios capitalized on this runaway success, and The Conjuring was turned into an entire cinematic universe full of demons and other paranormal instances.
Prequel/spinoff movie Annabelle marked the first expansion of the universe in 2014, while the main Conjuring franchise received a sequel with The Conjuring 2 in 2016. From this point on, Warner Bros. has not had a year without a new installment of the franchise in theaters. The Conjuring 2 was followed by Annabelle: Creation, a prequel film to the original and larger universe, and The Nun, a prequel/spinoff film that takes place the furthest in the past and used to expand upon the demonic Valek the Nun that appeared in Conjuring 2. There’s another installment this year with Annabelle Comes Home, but now we know that it isn’t the only Conjuring movie of 2019.
- This Page: Father Perez Ties La Llorona To Annabelle
- Page 2: La Llorona’s Other Annabelle Cameo & Future
Yes, The Curse of La Llorona Is In The Conjuring Universe
If you have only paid attention to The Curse of La Llorona‘s marketing campaign, then you may be surprised to learn that the film is connected to The Conjuring‘s expansive world. The film did not tease any connections to a larger universe in the marketing and was believed to be just a regular, standalone supernatural thriller. This was proven to not be the case when the film first screened at SSXW earlier this year and reactions to the film confirmed that The Curse of La Llorona is connected to the previous Conjuring movies.
The architects of the entire Conjuring franchise, James Wan and Gary Dauberman, were previously attached as producers on the movie, which should’ve been a major giveaway that such a reveal was coming. That said, it is unclear if The Curse of La Llorona was always envisioned to be a part of the larger franchise. It was originally titled The Children, and the connecting points between this movie and the bigger universe are relatively small, meaning they could’ve been worked into the film at the last minute. But what are these connections?
Father Perez Was In The First Annabelle Movie
One of the major connections that The Curse of La Llorona makes to the Conjuring franchise is having Tony Armendola reprise his role as Father Perez. He first appeared in Annabelle, making this his second appearance in the franchise. In Annabelle, Perez is contacted by John and Mia Form – played by Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis respectively – and asked for his help after the spirit that possesses the Annabelle doll attacks their family. Perez is the one who explains the connection between the demon and Annabelle to the family. He attempts to help them by taking Annabelle to a church, but is attacked by the demon before he can get inside and winds up in the hospital.
These events all happened in 1967, but Perez is now healthy and continuing to serve as a pastor in 1973. He once again is used as an advisor during the supernatural events that Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) and her family face. Anna asks him if he knows anything about La Llorona, and he explains the supposed legend to her. But, he refuses to get involved with another supernatural activity and directs Anna and her family to an ex-priest who may be of service.
Page 2: La Llorona’s Other Annabelle Cameo & Future
Annabelle’s Cameo In The Curse of La Llorona Explained
Perez’s lack of interest in helping the Tate-Garcia family may keep his overall role small in The Curse of La Llorona, but there is one other part of his screen time that reminds viewers in a more obvious way of the film’s connection to the larger universe – and we’re not talking about the reference to the Warrens that he makes. When he is explaining the legend of La Llorona to Anna, he alludes to his previous supernatural encounter with Annabelle. Instead of letting hardcore fans piece together the connective tissue though, The Curse of La Llorona makes the connection clear.
It doesn’t last long, but the movie does briefly use a flashback to show part of Perez’s role in Annabelle once again. The shot features him leaving the Forms’ apartment with the Annabelle doll in his grasp. This scene comes during the third act of the 2014 film, when he attempts to take the doll to his church. The events that transpire after that make him hesitant to get involved with La Llorona.
While the cameo of Annabelle may feel slightly cheap and unnecessary in the grand scheme of The Curse of La Llorona and the Conjuring franchise, it’s a pretty harmless one to make. This isn’t an example of the film changing the history of the doll or adding another story to the universe that could be used to do another spinoff film, but rather building off of what came before. Its a smart move that further ties The Curse of La Llorona to a bigger universe, which only will leave viewers wondering if a larger connection will be made.
Will La Llorona Join The Conjuring Universe Proper?
The Curse of La Llorona may not be a spinoff of another Conjuring film and only features these small pieces of connectivity, but these actions still firmly place it in the larger shared universe. The ending of the film originally makes it appear as though there will be no future stories based around La Llorona or these characters, but then the post-credits “scene” teases something more. The recognizable and distinct cry of The Weeping Woman once again is heard, indicating that she was only momentarily defeated and could return again.
There’s no plans for a sequel to The Curse of La Llorona at the moment, but the financial success of the film will go a long way towards determining if this happens. The domestic opening weekend isn’t projected to be very high, but the franchise has performed very well overseas traditionally. With a reported budget of only $15M though, it won’t take much for The Curse of La Llorona to be successful enough for a sequel happen.
Regardless of whether or not a sequel happens, there’s more opportunities for the spirit to return, if the creators do plan on doing just that. One of the quickest opportunities will be The Conjuring 3. The film’s director will be Michael Chaves, who just made his directorial debut with The Curse of La Llorona. Him being selected to take over for James Wan clearly is a sign that they liked his work on this new film, but could also mean that La Llorona will have a role given Chaves’ familiarity with the character. It is simply too early to tell whether or not La Llorona will make a return, but it is at least possible now.
MORE: The Curse of La Llorona Review