The legend of La Llorona is by no means special, nor particularly scary, but fans of B horror movies know what to expect from a movie like this.
The Weeping Woman (aka La Llorona) is a popular 16th-century tale. Legend has it that a woman named Maria married a wealthy conquistador and had two children. When she discovers the infidelity of her new lovers, she drowns her two children in a river. Consumed by monumental guilt, she drowned immediately after. According to legend, her crimes were so serious that she was punished for an eternity in Purgatory until she found her lost children – or, at least, someone’s children. Director Patricia Harris Seeley (Warning: may contain nuts) and writers Cameron Larson (Jurassic Predator: Xtinction) and José Prendes (Mega Shark Vs. Mech Shark) use this myth as a backdrop for their story of a grieving family in The Legend of La Llorona. It’s a proven formula for the genre, but more story and less CGI could have uplifted the horror film.
Jorge, a taxi driver played by Danny Trejo (Machete) welcomes the all-American Candlewood family to Mexico. He warns them that even if they are on vacation, they should be on the lookout for cartel members, human trafficking and something potentially worse than both. The Candlewood family consists of 3 members: Carly, played by Autumn Reeser (Entourage, The OC), her husband Andrew, played by Antonio Cupo (Bomb Girls), and their son Danny (Nicolas Madrazo). When Carly and Andrew find out about the legend of La Llorona, they fear that it is linked to their son’s disappearance. Cupo plays the non-believer as Reeser takes on the form of the worried mother who is treated like crazy – even though audiences know otherwise. As the Crying Woman (Zamia Fandiño) draws closer to this plane of existence, the Candlewoods will have to unite their minds, bodies, and souls to exorcise the demon.
The nice thing about horror movies is that if viewers are up for it, things like production quality and acting chops are more or less irrelevant. What is much more crucial is that Danny Trejo shoots ghosts with a shotgun. That’s why we love a cheesy horror movie. When we finally see La Llorona herself, she’s pictured as a towel hilariously jumping out of the water to kidnap children. There are lines of dialogue so bizarre in The Legend of La Llorona that it begs a question if this is in fact an R-rated horror film.
What The Legend of La Llorona offerings in place of quality production value is a candid account of a scary Mexican folk tale. Halfway through the film, a devastatingly beautiful historical retelling of the legend takes place, giving the current timeline stronger roots. The film feels himself when he lives inside the caption and not the script. And unlike the current timeline, actors from the past chew up landscapes and feel more in touch with the soul of the film. You could even argue that the flashbacks are at the heart of what makes the film worthwhile.
The Legend of La Llorona It’s by no means special, or particularly scary, but fans of B horror movies know what to expect from a movie like this. And The Legend of La Llorona is a faithful representation of its trailer, delivering what is expected. The Legend of La Llorona is short, fun, and – perhaps most importantly – knows what kind of movie it is and doesn’t try to overplay its hand. Trejo’s presence brings lightness and charm while the flashbacks are the dramatic backbone of the film. In all, The Legend of La Llorona is a wacky movie with more laughter than fear, and best watched after midnight alongside like-minded friends.
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The Legend of La Llorona released in theaters on January 7 and will be available on demand on January 11. The film is 98 minutes long and is rated R for some violence and language.
- The Legend of La Llorona (2022)Release date: January 07, 2022
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