Sorry, Marvel, but the universe of The Conjuring may have to beat with surprising links between its many standalone movies. Director James Wan's latest offering, The Curse of La Llorona connects to Annabelle and The Conjuring universe, but it's easy to miss how.
In the new Warner Bros. horror movie Linda Cardellini plays Anna, a mother whose children are tormented by a supernatural force plucked out of a campfire ghost story. As the Mexican folk tale goes, "La Llorona" is the ghost of a woman who, upon discovering her husband's affair, drowned her two children as vengeance. When the woman realized what she had done, she ended her own life — and now, she searches the earth, seeking children to replace the ones she lost.
The curse of La Llorona is not something that was investigated by The Conjuring's Ed (Patrick Wilson) or Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), though it does seem like a thing that they could have helped out with had Anna known to call them. Instead, the connection to The Conjuring universe, which includes spin-offs Annabelle (of which there are two movies, and one more in the works) The Nun, and the upcoming The Crooked Man, is made via a character from the original Annabelle movie.
In The Curse of La Llorona, Tony Amendola plays Father Perez, a man who offers Anna assistance with her demonic spirit problem. He tells Anna that he never used to believe in such extreme supernatural forces, until he was faced with a particular case that changed his mind, several years earlier.
The case that Perez is referring to is the case from the original Annabelle, which took place in 1967, just a few years before the 1973 events of The Curse of La Llorona.
In La Llorona, we see a flashback of Perez holding Annabelle (it's a scene from the 2014 movie), suggesting that, while the Warrens are not present in this movie, this film exists in the same universe as the other ones within the Conjuring extended universe.
The Curse of La Llorona suggests that the possibilities for The Conjuring universe are truly endless. What other ghost stories can this franchise weave together? We're already spooked thinking about it.