Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tears For Fears: Third Verse, Worst Of The Worst

Welcome back to my Tears for Fears marathon, where I will be covering every movie featuring the Mexican folk legend La Llorona in anticipation of her newest movie in April...

Year: 2012
Director: Javier Barbera
Cast: Josh DeLozier, Maria Pallas, Chris Anderson
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

I probably shouldn't be surprised considering the current and historical state of the obscure horror film, but I can't say when I started my research for this project that I expected to be covering entries from at least four different franchises. Two of them were Llorona-related films from different franchises (Santo and Las Leyendas), but two more were full-on franchises entirely devoted to La Llorona, neither of which I had ever heard of before. KM 31 and its sequel were one thing, but The Wailer having spawned a whole trilogy is not something I could have conceived in my wildest direct-to-video nightmares.

Be prepared for the most dynamic images from this film being about as interesting as this one.

So while The Wailer 2 shocked me by being in total, direct continuity with the first one, the five years later The Wailer 3 gives me exactly what I expected the last time: a film that doesn't even try to remain connected, just telling a very bad story about a totally different Llorona and slapping the franchise title on there for attention. 

This movie in particular concerns itself with the exploits of Daniel (Josh DeLozier) who on a begrudging trip to visit his mother-in-law with his wife and two kids encounters La Llorona in a swimming pool. And this certainly doesn't take place in Mexico. It feels firmly North of San Diego even, come to think of it. His family is killed and he is left wheelchair-bound. This is no later than thirty minutes in, mind you, and the next hour or so is him shouting at a nurse named Africa (Nicole Simpson) and not really doing much to solve the mystery of La Llorona or defeating her.

Also a magical turtle heals his legs at one point, because why the hell not.

Look, there's no point beating around the bush. This movie is shit. It is an aimless, meandering movie that climaxes sixty minutes before credits roll and endlessly cycles between scenes of Africa flatly chanting, "You should eat something. I like it when you clean your plate," and the same stock footage of a storm brewing over the boring suburban house he's staying in even though it's where his entire family dies and it doesn't even belong to him. He certainly wasn't in his mother-in-law's will, because she spends the entire movie sniping at him and insulting her daughter's choice in men.

In fact, every single character in this movie seems to hate each other. It's the exact opposite of a movie like Cherry Falls where everybody involved seems to have intense, crackling sexual chemistry even if they're playing relatives. Here, it seems like right before filming every shot somebody ripped a fart that smelled like an open sewer, and everybody thinks somebody else did it. Daniel even hates Africa, whining and shouting at her every chance he gets, like a petulant child.

Maybe that's the only emotion the actors could summon, because the performances are across the board uniquely atrocious. These people could have hired the cast of Troll 2 as acting coaches. Every line reading is either the monotonous drone of a bored robot or full volume shouting that sends dust down from the rattling rafters. Although, to be fair to these poor actors, the dialogue is literally impossible to perform. It's florid, stilted, purple prose where a woman who is visiting her childhood home for the first time in a decade has this to say: "Regardless of time, I can see that everything remains exactly the same."

Ah yes, that classic refrain.

Then there's the fact that this film is scary exactly zero percent of the time, and even the first act fake scares are ludicrous (they involve a water pipe, and then... a washcloth on top of a turtle). La Llorona is barely in the movie, except as a pale white ghostly figure just kind of drifting like The Lady in the Water. There is a microscopic attempt at backstory that is both lazy (she drowned her kids, the end) and far too late in the movie, and that's the entirety of their efforts to characterize the villain of the piece in any way. 

At the very least, The Wailer 3 is unique enough in its badness that it rounds the horn into being bad-good rather than just excruciating. I still don't think I'd recommend it even for a party full of bad movie lovers (too little happens to be worth maintaining any attention), but pretty much any scene taken out of context has some beautiful little gem of stupid to hold onto. That's the only compliment I'm willing to give The Wailer 3, but I had a much better time with it than some of the other dregs of this marathon.

TL;DR: The Wailer 3 is a devastatingly bad movie, no bones about it.
Rating: 3/10
Word Count: 862
Reviews In This Series
The Wailer (Navia, 2006)
The Wailer 2 (Miller, 2007)
The Wailer 3 (Barbera, 2012)

No comments:

Post a Comment