The Legend of La Llorona (2022)
Film: In 2019, a sixth entry of The Conjuring series came out in cinemas, produced by James Wan, and starring Linda Cardellini, the woman who almost single-handedly turned Velma from Scooby Doo into the sexy nerd icon she is today whilst getting her glove on in the first Scooby Doo movie. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very well received and sits pretty low in most horror fans minds… even those that love the Conjuring as a series. Cardellini did, however, get nominated for ‘Most Frightened’ at the MTV Movie awards which she unfortunately didn’t win.
Surely I higher award doesn’t exist.
As one would expect, copycat films came out, usually direct to home video, and this is one of them. The Legend of La Llorona has an interesting pedigree, with the writing/ direction/ production team being responsible for such epic films as Alligator X, Sand Sharks and The Haunting of Whaley House. Surely this must mean poor acting, generic storytelling and credit fonts straight out of Microsoft Office.
Our tale is of the Candlewood family, Carly (Autumn Reeser), Andrew (Antonio Cupo) and their son, Danny (Nicolas Madrazo) who have taken a holiday to Mexico for a month in an attempt to get over the death of their baby.
They are taken to their villa by Jorge (Danny Trejo), a taxi driver who warns them that drug cartels are in control of the area, and to not stray too far from where they are staying.
At the villa they meet Veronica (Angelica Lara), who is disturbed that they have a son as Andrew did not mention they needed two rooms when they made the booking (I mean, what the hell? Have the writers NEVER booked a hotel?!?).
Of course, within minutes of arriving, Danny is attacked by what looks like a piece of floating toilet paper in a creek, but that’s not scary enough for his parents to leave him with Veronica, who they hadn’t met before today, while they go for dinner.
While at dinner, they run afoul of the local drug cartel boss, Pedro Pablo (Edgar Wuotto) and by the end of the night Danny has gone missing… but did the cartel kidnap him, or did the mysterious toilet paper, aka La Llorona, a ghost who steals children take him… more to the point, who actually cares?
There’s really no way to describe this film other than as an absolute piece of hot trash. Danny Trejo isn’t a bad actor, though he rarely has to stretch himself too far, but here he gets to lower his skill set to that of his accompanying cast.
Horror movies regularly use the whole ‘stranger in a strange land’ theme, but it really only works if the land isn’t filled with parodies of local that barely rise above that of a 1970s crime show. On several occasions I actually laughed out loud at the characters. The character with the name ‘Pedro Pablo’ was a particular high point of laffs: hopefully these filmmakers will get together and make an Italian based film starring a character named Michelangelo Linguini!
They even try to tap into other ‘spooky’ stuff by having some of the filming take place on that weird doll island, and by badly emulating Sam Raimi’s demon camera from Evil Dead!
Well, it might have been the acting, I can’t tell because they were both so bad.
Extras: None. Thank goodness!
WISIA: Hell no: it’s a miserable piece of crap
This film was reviewed with the Australian DVD release