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‘The Legend of La Llorona’ review: Lacks the scares of the source material

The story has issues.

The Legend of La Llorona is another entry in the ever increasing subset of films about the infamous weeping woman. This movie is about a couple who is vacationing in Mexico. When their son disappears, they soon learn it is tied to a supernatural curse. There is nothing wrong with horror movies being familiar. If anything, it is part of their charm. In rare cases, it can even make the film better. The Legend of La Llorona is based off of an urban legend, so there is going to be some crossover with other movies by default.

Director Patricia Harris Seeley attempts to introduce new elements to the lore works to varying degrees. The idea that the ghost can become stronger and even targets adults is a neat spin. Someone shooting at it with a shotgun, not as much. Faulting The Legend of La Llorona for not succeeding at trying something new would not be fair, however. The story, on the other hand, has issues.

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The Legend of La Llorona is all over the place. Along with the titular wailer, the Mexican cartel also becomes involved. This seems to add an air of seriousness (and definitely adds to the body count), but then over the top kills are borderline ridiculous. Add in a repetitive story, and the film can become a slog to get through.

All audiences can hope for are some good scares. The actual story of La Llorona is frightening and seems like an easy adaptation. And yet, The Legend of La Llorona is never truly scary. Even worse, it can get boring. In the end, the strong source material is wasted.

The Legend of La Llorona opens In Theaters on January 7 and will be available On Demand and Digital on January 11.

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