The Legend of La Llorona Review

The Legend of La Llorona still of Carly (Autumn Reeser) and Danny (Nicholas Madrazo)

The Legend of La Llorona is not a terrifying spectacle of horror, but it does have Danny Trejo, and that may be enough. Directed by Patricia Harris Seeley, with the story by Cameron Larson and the screenplay by Jose Prendes, The Legend of La Llorona follows a family on vacation in Mexico who have to fight to protect their son from the supernatural force after him. Parts of the film may be so bad it is good as there is a lot that inspires laughter because the effects are lackluster, the acting hit-and-miss with weak dialogue, landing this as B horror and not memorable B horror.

Vacation To Save A Family

The Legend of La Llorona still of Carly (Autumn Reeser) and Danny (Nicholas Madrazo)
The Legend of La Llorona still of Carly (Autumn Reeser) and Danny (Nicholas Madrazo) courtesy of Saban Films

Before we meet the family, the story takes us back to another family crossing the border, and I initially thought it tied in with another character, but that part ends up dangling unless I missed it. Then we are in the present with our family; Carly and Andrew Candlewood (played by Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo respectively) and their son Danny (Nicholas Madrazo) riding in Jorge’s (Danny Trejo) cab. Something is off within the family, but with their stay too, as their host, Veronica (Angélica Lara), is upset they didn’t tell her they were bringing a child.

That should always be a huge red flag in any regard, and that warning can run the gamut from adult content to danger. But of course, the family does not depart. They lost their daughter, and the vacation is for Carly and Andrew especially to come together since their relationship is rocky. Carly’s grief leaves her guilty whenever she smiles or finds enjoyment in spending time with her husband or son. So this vacation’s purpose it to bring them together. 

Scream or Laugh At Awful Decisions

The Legend of La Llorona still of Carly (Autumn Reeser) and Jorge (Danny Trejo)
The Legend of La Llorona still of Carly (Autumn Reeser) and Jorge (Danny Trejo) courtesy of Saban Films

All I did was shake my head, wondering why they make the wrong choice time after time, especially Carly. If both you and your son agree there was a creepy woman in the water, why continue your deathcation? There are a few instances that left me wondering about Carly’s decision. After all, if you’re dealing with a spirit, you do not want to leave your child while you go roaming around when it is clear the spirit is after your son. But I do love yelling and having a dialogue with the film I am watching, and The Legend of La Llorona gives ample opportunity for that. 

The acting is not great, with the dialogue doing a lot of damage. The flashback scenes of the weeping woman are more comical than tragic. It reminds me of soap operas. I loved seeing Danny Trejo, and his character has the balance of seriousness and comedy that The Legend of La Llorona should have focused on more. It does not have the skill to swim in deep horror waters without the dialogue, budget or less is more, though it tries despite this. The dialogue didn’t help. It felt cheesy and cliched at every turn.

Effects So Bad It’s Funny
The Legend of La Llorona still of a woman in the water fully-clothed holding a baby
The Legend of La Llorona still courtesy of Saban Films

The special effects are not that good, but it made me laugh quite a bit because it reminded me of a skit where the spirit from The Ring gets beat up by a would-be victim. Patricia Harris Seeley does have an eye for increasing suspense since I was scared at first. The scene in the water creeped me out, and it is a shame they did not go for less is more. When the budget for special effects is not there, that is the better option for a horror film; do not show the monster unless it increases the fear. The Legend of La Llorona is Seeley’s first directorial feature debut, and I would love to see what she can do in the horror genre with a larger budget. 

The Legend of La Llorona entertains with how bad it is. Do not expect terror, stellar acting and great dialogue. But if you are a fan of Danny Trejo, you may enjoy this film. But do not go in expecting chills galore. Any chills you get will be from the wintry season and not The Legend of La Llorona. Despite Patricia Harris Seeley’s skill with the camera, the film does not rise out of the ranks of B horror. The film is bad, but it made me laugh at how bad, so I would recommend a view for laughs, preferably with friends.

The Legend of La Llorona trailer via Youtube from Saban Films

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