The legend of La Llorona —the “weeping woman” who, upon learning of her husband’s infidelity, revenge-killed their two small children — is said to have been the foremost generator of nightmares among impressionable Hispanic toddlers. But when the two children of CPS employee Anna (Linda Cardellini) show up for school with his-and-her matching Indian burns, it’s tough not to look to their single mom as the real-life-nightmare suspect. In fact, the only satisfactory way for this “old dark house” variant to resolve would have been on a note of filicidal unrestraint. A dim bulb in The Conjuring constellation, similar to last year’s The Nun with respect to a comparatively small budget that afforded its lead spook but a single, sour expression with which to give face to all the accelerated lunging. Viewers are left with the feeling that they’ve spent 90 minutes being chased through a haunted house by a stunt person wielding an oil painting.
Length: 1 hour, 33 minutes