THE LAIR (2022) Reviews of Neil Marshall’s sci-fi action horror

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The Lair is a 2022 American science fiction action horror film about half-human, half-alien creatures known as Ravagers.

Written and directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, The Reckoning, Hell Boy), the movie stars Jonathan Howard (Thor: The Dark World, Skylines, Godzilla King of Monsters), Charlotte Kirk (The Reckoning, Oceans Eight), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Leon Ockenden, Mark Strepan, Hadi Khanjanpour, Harry Taurasi, Kibong Tanji and Troy Alexander.

Plot:
Sergeant Tom Hook is tasked with leading soldiers to find Lt. Kate Sinclair, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot shot down in Afghanistan. Sinclair, pursued by insurgents, finds refuge in a long-abandoned secret bunker and unwittingly releases a deadly man-made biological weapon – half-human, half-alien and hungry for human flesh – the Ravagers.

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Hook and his team, accompanied by a handful of British SAS troops must save Sinclair from the insurgents, and more importantly from the Ravagers before they overrun the area and potentially the world…

Writer-director Neil Marshall has said “It’s great to be back in the thick of the action with such a stellar cast and crew, and I’m thrilled to be shooting in Budapest again. This movie really captures the mood and intensity of my early work, not to mention the blood and guts. I think horror and action fans are going to get a real kick out of The Lair. “ He has since described his latest film was “The Dirty Half Dozen meets The Thing.”

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Reviews:
The Lair is a return to Marshall’s action/horror roots. There’s the claustrophobia and below ground creatures of The Descent plus the gore, wit and camaraderie of Dog Soldiers. The sustained rat-a-tat of machine gun fire in the finale may well be rattling around your head for hours after the film finishes.” Britflicks

The Lair is an explosive horror adventure which further cements Neil Marshall’s position as one of our generation’s finest action horror filmmakers.” 4 out of 5, Dread Central

Zulu is an obvious influence here (character names are lifted and shifted from that film to this one), and a midpoint assault on the outpost is the movie’s highlight. While the climax never reaches the same level, enough prosthetic make-up FX work splatters across the screen to send everyone home happy.” Electric Shadows

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“It’s notable that the best bit, the tense opening half hour, has very little dialogue and is played mostly straight. Still, by the end, I’d warmed to its ridiculousness. Visually, it’s impressive – with immersive sets and fantastic shots of the landscape […] Plus there’s only so much you can moan about a lack of intelligence in a movie where people with machine guns fight monsters.” 3 out of 5, Horror Cult Films

” …it’s basically a matter of not getting too attached to anyone since they’re liable to get gutted or gored to death, and noting that no faction in the film has much of a grasp of tactics (every side takes needless casualties) but the stunt and special effects teams are having a ball showing how badly everything can go wrong.  Marshall clearly loves schlock, and does the requisite nods to the ‘80s with a Thing-like alien autopsy…” The Kim Newman Web Site

Release date:
The Lair had its world premiere at the 2022 Arrow Video FrightFest in London on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

Production:
Principal photography began on July 11th on location in Hungary. Highland Film Group is handling worldwide rights for the film. “We are very excited to start production on The Lair. The project received great attention from worldwide distributors when we first introduced it. Neil’s previous film, The Reckoning was a solid success in the independent world, and we know he is ready to take on another great creature feature – a genre he is beloved for. The talented ensemble cast will certainly deliver for horror-action-thriller fans too looking for a dynamic story and an edge-of-your-seat experience,” said Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser (CEO) and Delphine Perrier (COO).

Credits include Cinematography by Luke Bryant (The Reckoning), Casting by Jeremy Zimmermann (Dog Soldiers, Hellboy II), VFX Producer Sean Wheelan of Filmgate (Pathé’s Centurion, Summit Entertainment’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard), Production Design by Mónika Esztán, Costume Design by Mária Fatér (The Reckoning) and prosthetics by Bálazs Novák (Pieces of a Woman).

Marshall told Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew Podcast that The Lair will be a “full-on monster movie”!

The Reckoning was certainly a return to horror, but I showed a degree of restraint. With the exception of one wagon wheel scene. So I wanted to come back and do a creature feature, I wanted to do some monsters, and just kind of combine elements from Dog Soldiers and Aliens and Predator and things like that.”

He added: “So it’s a full-on monster movie with action and explosions and blood and guts and everything.”

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