The Conjuring universe spews up yet another Spooky tale of a vengeful spirit that looks fantastic, but fails to offer anything new……

By now, horror fans all know what to expect in a Conjuring film! Its like a check list that we can all do when the credits start to roll! A creepy ghost with a backstory, doors creaking, shadows in the darkness of a room, ominous music that goes loud to get a cheap scare. Its a formula that has resulted in massive box-office takings even though the quality of these spin off films can be rightly questioned.

The Curse Of La LLorona which is based on an actual Mexican folklore actually feels like a film that has at the last minute been forced into this shared universe. Apart from a tiny reference of a certain doll, there is no connection to what we have seen in previous films especially with the lack of any of the Warren’s involvement even though debut director Michael Chaves really does channel the work of James Wan, with the film visually identical to what we know and expect!

Based in the 1970’s, La Llorona had a great chance to set itself apart, especially set in an era where great horror films have ruled, but there is never any attempt to use this decade as a tool and apart from an old TV Set glimpsed now and again, this could actually be set in any year which is a shame!

When Social worker and single mum Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) saves two children from a locked room and believing from the harm of their mother, she unwittingly releases La Llorona onto her own two children and needs to find all her strength to save her family.

What follows is the same old, but that’s not to say its all bad! There are some startling set-pieces that made me sit up in awe. The car scene in which the windows start to come down is fantastic and the ghost itself is a brilliant creation that jumps out on you unexpected.

Its just a shame that the film feels it could have been more! Anna being investigated by her own people regarding the welfare of her children was an interesting aspect that was quickly dropped, while the film feels just too “safe” and not once do we feel like we watching a proper horror film.

Maybe its because the franchise is trying its best to get the lowest as possible age rating to maximise its box office, because truthfully, like most of the Conjuring universe, what we have is a recycled premise, dressed up as something new, which is great for the money men, but how about loosening the reins a bit and making us all feel scared…..isn’t that what a horror film should be about?

2 Hatchets Out Of 5