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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Review: The Legend of La Llorona

Director: Patricia Harris Seeley

Screenplay: Jose Prendes

Year: 2022

How many films have already come out in the last two years about La Llorona? If only pulling from memory, I can think of "The Curse of La Llorona" and "La Llorona," and surely there will be a few low-budget movies trying to take advantage of the attention to the subject. Well, now another movie is added to the list of movies about this legend.

In “The Legend of La Llorona”, a married couple and their son go on vacation to Mexico to clear their heads. The marriage is not going through its best moment since they recently lost a pregnancy with which both were very excited. However, their lodging in Mexico is close to the canal where La Llorona, a vengeful spirit known for stealing children, roams.

As expected after seeing the title, the promotional poster, and knowing that it is another film about La Llorona and on top of it with a low budget, I was already expecting the worst. Seeing that Saban Films had been the distribution house for the film gave me a little hope, a feeling that turned to disappointment after only a few minutes. And it is that the beginning of this film cannot do a worse job of exposing all its shortcomings.

Chief among these shortcomings is having an idea that is too ambitious for what your budget can do. This comment refers to the image of La Llorona, which is achieved with CGI and make-up effects that are lousy, and more than a fearsome villain from a horror movie, she looks like a character from a Halloween haunted house conceived by materials obtained at the local costume store. Consequently, the image of La Llorona is not at all fearsome, and the cheap jump scares do not help her.

Then, the script by Jose Prendes is full of inconsistencies and faulty dialogues, affecting how we can connect with the characters and, to a certain extent, harms the work of the director and the cast. In the direction, Patricia Harris Seeley does a good job and manages to get good performances from her cast, particularly from the main couple played by Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo (“American Mary”). And of course, we must mention the presence of Danny Trejo (“Machete”), an actor we all love and who has us used to offer good performances no matter the type of film.

With an inconsistent and unoriginal script and a less-than-stellar reimagining of La Llorona, “The Legend of La Llorona” feels like another movie trying to ride a popular wave to see how far it goes. The direction and acting are good, but the plot and horror elements are disappointing. And not to mention the image of La Llorona, whose ambitious idea collides with the reality of a limited budget.


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