When The Curse of La Llorona landed in theaters in 2019, audiences knew they were in for an unsettling adventure inspired by the mythical figure, with one scene completely shocking viewers, as an appearance by the character Father Perez and references to the Annabelle doll confirmed that the narrative was connected to The Conjuring series in some capacity. However, director of La Llorona Michael Chaves recently detailed that, while there is some narrative connective tissue between the films, La Llorona technically isn't an entry in the Conjuring franchise, as the film doesn't share the same producers as the various Conjuring spinoffs.
“The very simple reason [why La Llorona] isn’t [part of The Conjuring franchise is because] it was made without one of the [Conjuring franchise] producers, so technically it can not be fully embraced,” Chaves detailed to Dread Central. “That’s the very simple reason. Originally, there was only supposed to be a playful nod by putting [Father Perez] in and having the Annabelle flash. But it wasn’t supposed to be marketed that way. The plan was, you would get into it, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, they’re connected!’ We weren’t, from the beginning, supposed to be doing that. And that’s why it has this outsider status. But as [the character] La Llorona is an outsider herself, I think it fits."
He added, "The idea was just to have a playful connection because the myth of La Llorona can stand on its own. But James [Wan] was on as a producer, the conversation got started about an Easter egg. It just kind of got away from itself. People loved that connection. But The Conjuring franchise is created by a team that’s been there since the beginning. It’s not really right to do an unofficial spinoff without the full team.”
This is far from the first time that a horror film has included blatant Easter eggs that reference other well-known horror movies, but given how specific this reference was and having Wan, creator of The Conjuring, on board as a producer led many to assume La Llorona was secretly another Conjuring spinoff.
In addition to the lack of a producer connection between the films, another trend with spinoffs is that they are inspired by otherworldly figures that debut in the proper The Conjuring films, so La Llorona's failure to appear previously in a film seemingly also prevents it from being an entry into the unsettling shared universe.
Chaves would go on to officially join The Conjuring series by directing the most recent entry into the proper series, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which is out now in theaters and on HBO Max.
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