WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Curse of La Llorona, in theaters now.
It's of a staple of horror movies to have people making some pretty silly, even downright foolish choices. When they hear things go bump in the night, they come outside to investigate rather than call the cops, they fall down at the most inopportune times, and some make decisions that give the supernatural being the upper hand at any junction possible.
As popular as it it, not even Warner Bros.' Conjuring-Verse is immune to these tropes. However, The Curse of La Llorona takes the top prize in giving us the dumbest family to ever appear in a horror movie.
In Michael Chaves directorial debut, the Weeping Woman is haunting Anna's (Linda Cardellini) family because she wants to drown the woman's son, Chris (Roman Christou), and daughter, Sam (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen), in order to claim their souls as her own. On the advice of Annabelle's Father Perez (Tony Amendola), the family seeks out a shaman, Rafa (Raymond Cruz), to send the spirit back to hell in the movie's finale. Pretty standard horror fare that goes terribly wrong thanks to the family's utter ineptitude.
Rafa uses his knowledge of Mexican exorcisms to booby-trap the house so he can keep the malevolent entity from entering. He instructs the family to board up all windows and doors, with trinkets placed at all entry points to ward the demon off. However, they conveniently forget to seal off and protect the back door, allowing the demon inside. They had one job, and it's not like it's a door or window that might slip your mind, like the attic. It's the back door -- a main door to the family home. Rafa depends on the family to tackle this sample task, and thanks to their incompetence, they all find themselves at La Llorona's mercy.
However, due to his resilience and experience, Rafa keeps the spirit at bay by once more ejecting her from the house. This time, he has an even more foolproof plan involving placing shavings from a mystical tree at the site where the Weeping Woman killed her kids and was turned into a ghoul in the 1600s. He places the shavings at all entry points, warning the family the line cannot be broken, no matter what.
But once more, Anna's family proves they're not smart enough to live - literally. Sam spots her doll on the stoop, where La Llorona took it when she was kicked out, setting up a trap of her own. Despite Anna warning her daughter to forget about the doll, just as they're trying to keep the spirit out, Sam wanders off to the next room and decides to open the door there to get her doll back. She ends up breaking the seal, which invites La Llorona in to snatch her and take her to the pool to drown.
What should be a horrific moment is a groan-inducing one. Sam is literally able to see and hear her family trying to defeat the ghost, but can't help but chase after her toy. While the excommunicated priest could have predicted what La Llorona would do, Rafa simply didn't cater for the most careless, absent-minded family in the history of horror movies.
Directed by Michael Chaves, The Curse of La Llorona stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, and newcomer Roman Christou. The film is in theaters now.