For much of the cast and crew of The Curse of La Llorona, the production was always going to be a surreal experience. The titular myth on which the film is based — about a woman who goes crazy, drowns her children in the river, and spends eternity on Earth hunting for more childhoods to wreck — is a staple in Latin-American households. Putting it on screen for the first time lent it tangibility, conjuring up old memories and fears.
"We grew up with it, so to us it's real," says co-star Raymond Cruz, who plays a Mexican exorcist in the Michael Chaves-directed movie. "It's like finding Bigfoot, you're actually going to see it now."
Added co-star Patricia Velasquez: "You feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to not let your culture down. The script was great, it gives a real homage to [the folktale]."
Those on set who didn't grow up with the myth quickly became acquainted with "The Weeping Woman," as she is known in Latin culture, thanks to some seriously creepy occurrences during production.
Chaves reported thick chills running through the old — and un-air-conditioned — house where the movie was shot, while Cruz says his beaded bracelet, meant to ward off bad spirits, burst off his wrist and shattered in the middle of shooting a scene. That was bizarre enough, but the fact that the scene featured him battling the dark spirit made him even more freaked out and thoroughly convinced that the myth was real.
The cast and director also spoke about how producer James Wan helped ratchet up the fear factor on the film, as well as how it ties into his larger Conjuring universe.
The Curse of La Llorona hits theaters on April 19, 2019.