There's no crying to be found in this low-budget shocker, but tears may be elicited from viewers mourning the waste of a decent concept and some technical skill through poor writing and direction. The film made its debut on the film-festival circuit in 1995, and was released to home video
Jim Barton (Glynn Beard), anxious to win back his estranged wife, Teresa (Margaret Erin-Easley), buys a love potion from an old woman (Corey Elias). The brew supposedly contains the tears of "La Llorona," the Crier, an accused witch who drowned herself and her children in the 17th century. The
potion works, and Teresa moves back in with Jim and invites her brother, Tony (Ben Hess); his wife, Clair (Julie Keatinge); and some friends over for a party. Clair has been having nightmares that appear to be about the Crier, while Darcy (Laura Satterfield) and Miles (Craig Reid) seem to spot the
Crier while driving to Jim's place.
Once there, the group are suspicious of Teresa's new devotion to Jim. Fleeing an argument with her husband, Ian (Jason Fenton), Lys (Kisha Palmer) is killed by an unseen force in the woods. Ian goes looking for her, and the Crier (Lorena Gutierrez) appears and murders him. Miles and Darcy are the
next to go, followed by Tony and Clair the next day. Jim discovers Tony's body and returns to the house in terror, only to discover that the Crier has possessed Teresa, and that she will be his forever.
"Ask me why I told you this tale," says the old woman in the opening scene; her halting delivery doesn't suggest dramatic inflection so much as unfamiliarity with her lines. "To keep me from getting bored?" responds Jim. No such luck; her telling of La Llorona's story is fatally drawn out, and the
subsequent interpersonal drama and foreshadowings of horrors to come are equally tedious. Despite its polished cinematography, THE CRIER feels in all other ways like an amateur production. The script is a stew of awful dialogue ("You sound like a college sophomore reading Milton for the first
time," someone says, summing up many of the lines), annoying characters, and ideas that go underdeveloped. Star-director Beard inserts occasional pixillated flourishes in a vain attempt to keep the audience's interest, but fails to develop any real suspense. By the time the gory,
overwrought-yet-perfunctory murder scenes begin, the film and characters have become so insufferable that the deaths produce relief rather than fear. (Graphic violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: NR
- Review: There's no crying to be found in this low-budget shocker, but tears may be elicited from viewers mourning the waste of a decent concept and some technical skill through poor writing and direction. The film made its debut on the film-festival circuit in 199… (more)