The Legend of La Llorona review by Bobby Blakey
Throughout the years there have been numerous iterations of the famed curse of La Llorona most recently as part of the Conjuring Universe. The most recent take is the film The Legend of La Llorona starring Autumn Reeser, Antonio Cupo, Zamia Fandiño and Danny Trejo with director Patricia Harris Seeley at the helm. Could this latest take on the tale deliver the scares or will it sink to the bottom of the river?
The Legend of La Llorona follows a malevolent spirit bent on vengeance, stalks a young family visiting Mexico. Andrew, Carly and their son Danny travel to an isolated hacienda in Mexico for a much needed vacation. As they enter the town, signs showing missing children set an ominous tone. The family learns of the legend of “La Llorona,” the evil spirit of a distraught mother who lurks near the water’s edge and strikes fear in the hearts of all who see her. La Llorona torments the family mercilessly, snatching Danny and trapping him in a netherworld between the living and the dead. Aided by the resourceful taxi driver Jorge the family races to save their only child, navigating the foreboding countryside held by menacing cartel thugs. Gaining strength and power and leaving a path of death and destruction in her wake, La Llorona is seemingly unstoppable. But a secret from Carly’s past may provide an opportunity to finally defeat the spirit.
I am not typically a big fan of the haunted horror genre, but when handled right I am all in. I know a lot about this legend and its culture, which is also a pretty common one that almost every culture has a version of. That gives it a lot of possibilities so kept my mind open and ready for the spirits to deliver. Sadly while it had a decent enough story it was so generic and all over the place it fails to really offer up anything that stands out. The film also relies a lot on special effects that are pretty low budget which you can accept, but just not well utilized.
Outside of the main plot it seemed that we spend the majority of the film with the mother constantly looking for her son and yelling “Danny!” to trying to find him. I mean how many times do you lose your kid? They are trying to build some suspense and twists to the story, but it never really lands anyway. Sure there are some interesting directions to the tale, but it just can’t seem to execute well enough to make you care. The whole film felt like something you might see on Lifetime and in that case would probably be fine, but as a bigger release not so much.
Decide for yourself and check out The Legend of La Llorona in theaters on January 7th and then On Demand and Digital on January 11th.