Years ago, a woman drowned her own kids out of jealousy, but once she
realized what she had done, she drowned herself as well, but came back as
a demon, La Llorona, the Weeping Lady (Mary Sanchez), forever
looking for her children and killing everyone in her way.
Now: Crook Miguel (Will Morales) is returning Luciana (Carrie Wallace),
a teen who ran away, to her father Estevan (Ed Diaz), but his car gets
into an accident, and Luciana manages to escape ... or does she.
Ultimately, Miguel makes it to Estevan's place, where he is offered a
room for the night ... but something is not quite right about the place: A
boy, Pablo (Ronnie Alvarez) pops up everywhere but everyone else,
especially, Luciana's mother Mary (Denise Gossett), weird priest Sam (Joel
Bryant) and the family nurse (Tina Truong), denie even the boy's
existence, Estevan is attacked by La Llorona and killed, but with his
dieing breath, he tells Miguel to watch over his one daughter, Ann Marie
(Mary Sanchez), but to poison his other daughter, Luciana, who he claims
is only his adopted daughter and really the offspring of La Llorona
herself - as is Pablo, it turns out. Thing is, La Llorona's kids have to
be killed in order to put an end to La Llorona's reign of terror.
For the longest time, everything goes well, and ultimately Miguel and
Ann Marie even have sex with each other, then though Miguel finds the
money that Estevan meant for him anyways, poisons Luciana in an unguarded
moment and tries to make a swift getaway ... when he finds his car gone.
Returning to Estevan's place, Mary and Sam tell him the truth: Luciana
was Estevan's real daughter while Ann Marie is only his adopted child -
and lover. And Estevan was planning to sacrifice his own child for Ann
Marie, thinking he'd be able to fool La Llorona. But now Mary and Sam see
to it that the real child of La Llorona will die - Ann Marie, whom they
didn't like in the first place. And to keep Miguel from interfering, they
tie him up good and leave him as a present for La Llorona ... but somehow
La Llorona figures he's the best bet to save Ann Marie and frees him, who
in turn rescues Ann Marie from being burned alive at gunpoint.
But once they have made a successful getaway, Ann Marie accuses Miguel
of having abandoned her earlier on (which he has), takes his gun ... and
shoots him dead, like any true daughter of La Llorona would.
One thing up front: The River: Legend of La Llorona is a
shot-on-video no budget production - and of course it shows, the sets are
a bit too unimpressive, not all the actors are up to their task, at least
some scenes could have been better lit, and La Llorona, after all the
central monster of the movie, could have done with a better costume.
That all said, it sould be wrong to just dismiss The River: Legend
of La Llorona as just another amateur movie, as a director, Terrence
Williams gets the most out of what little he's got and manages to createa
properly creepy atmosphere that really carries the movie when the actors
and the central monster fail to carry it, Williams' script is full of
spooky elements and mysterious twists, and solid camerawork that by and
large avoids fashionably flashy effects builds a good foundation for all
True, the film is no classic, and as mentioned above, the lack of
budget is at times painfully obvious, but among independent, no budget
horror movies, this is a very decent effort.