My daughter and I, in past Shocktobers, quite enjoyed The Conjuring and The Conjuring II. Frankly, The Conjuring is one of the scariest films I've seen. Part of what make these films so frightening is the constant reminder of the creepy doll in their "museum" and the hints of the frightening story behind it. Well, we were prepped to begin that story. (rub hands in anticipation)
And I was disappointed. Not scary at all, and while the acting and story were adequate, it didn't come close to Conjuring levels I was expecting. The twist at the end was fun, but there was no build up of tension.
Oh, I'm sorry, one major source of tension for my daughter and I: every time the protagonist used the sewing machine. We knew she was going to get mangled by that monster. Eventually, her finger was stabbed and she put a band aid on it, and that was it.
This movie had so much potential, I'm very disappointed.
The Curse of La Llorona
I watched this one on my own, because I didn't know it was a Conjuring film, until the priest in Annabelle showed up (he does his best to raise the tension in both films, but doesn't help much). Okay, now we got some scary stuff. Child abduction, a bit of mystery, a hint of Scooby Doo (the cartoon is seen briefly), yeah this could work.
And because I was so let down by Annabelle, it does. I got a bit scared and it was a fun story. Afterwords, I realize that all the scares were jump scares and I mostly enjoyed it because Raymond Cruz played such a good role in the final third of the film, and I love him from the TV show, The Closer.
In the end, I realize that there is a similar problem here as with Annabelle: The characters don't have a build up of intensity when horrible things happen. Sure, there's a little wariness, especially by the children, but until the full reveal, there is too much of the everyday pleasantries that fill our every day and not as much of the mounting terror that makes for a good horror film. Again, this film is better than Annabelle in this regard, but this is far from a horror classic.
I really appreciated that the cast was almost all Hispanic and it was enjoyable while it was running. I'd call it a distraction, more than anything else.