Have you ever noticed how The Curse of La Llorona is treated like the red-headed stepchild of The Conjuring Universe? There’s a very simple reason why. During my exclusive interview with the film’s director, Michael Chaves, in advance of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (which he also directed), I asked just that–and I got a surprisingly definitive response.
Despite what you might have heard, The Curse of La Llorona is not part of The Conjuring Universe like Annabelle and The Nun. That’s right, even though the character Father Perez (played by Tony Amendola) appeared in both 2014’s Annabelle and 2019’s La Llorona, and even though we see a flash of the Annabelle doll in the film, The Curse still isn’t part of the franchise. The reason why is simple.
In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night — and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker and her own kids are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope of surviving La Llorona’s deadly wrath is a disillusioned priest who practices mysticism to keep evil at bay.
“The very simple reason [why La Llorona] isn’t [part of The Conjuring Universe is because] it was made without one of the [Conjuring franchise] producers, so technically it can not be fully embraced,” Chaves explained. “That’s the very simple reason. Originally, there was only supposed to be a playful nod [to The Conjuring franchise in La Llorona], by putting The Father 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.
“It’s a tricky situation, I don’t want to give away any trade secrets,” Chaves continued. “The idea was just to have a playful connection [to The Conjuring] 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 onoffical spinoff without the full team.”
So why all the confision?
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“When we premiered it in Austin, it was mistakenly announced as ‘The next chapter in The Conjuring universe’,” Chaves told me, “which sent waves of panic all the way through New Line. We didn’t want anyone to be offended. It was supposed to be just a wink and a nod. Not like we’re trying to steal your mojo or your brand.”
So there you have it, folks. There are only seven, not eight, films in The Conjuring universe. They are: The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. The latter is still playing in theaters nationwide and available to stream on HBO Max.
You can check out the trailer and synopsis for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It below.
A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
Chaves directs The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It from a screenplay penned by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick; the film stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Julian Hilliard.
Are you a fan of The Cuse of La Llorona (even though it’s not really part of The Conjuring Universe)? Have you seen The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican. Dread Central on Google News!