LAIR (2021) Reviews of British horror – Blu-ray and DVD released on Nov 23rd

 

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‘Sometimes your inner demons get out’

Lair is a 2021 British supernatural horror film about a sceptical academic who is forced to confront the fact that evil may be real.

Written and directed by Adam Ethan Crow – making his feature debut – with additional dialogue by Stuart Wright, based on Crow’s story. Produced by Shelley Atkin, Adam Ethan Crow, Stuart Nicholas White and James Whitehill (line producer).

The Ditto Films production stars Corey Johnson (Morbius), Oded Fehr (Star Trek: Discovery), Alexandre Gilbreath (Becoming Elizabeth), Anya Newall, Alana Wallace and Lara Mount.

Plot:

Doctor Steven Caramore (Corey Johnson) specialises in debunking supernatural myths. When a friend (Oded Fehr) is accused of murder, claiming he was possessed by an unseen menace, Caramore begins to question his own beliefs. He investigates his friend’s claims, setting off a chain of events that forces Caramore and a young family into a battle for survival…

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Reviews:

“Steven is as repellant a character as you’ll find, his plan is one made to unravel and woe be to the normal family caught within. If you enjoy possession and paranormal films, you’ll definitely enjoy this one, however.” B&S About Movies

“Despite its strong performances, Lair loses itself to a split vision. The family dynamic at its core is a bit too distracting from the supernatural story it is aiming to tell. Though, it saves its biggest guns for its final moments; resulting in a slight redemption for the movie.” Capt. Nostalgia

“An interesting premise unfortunately ruined by multiple plot holes and almost every character being an insufferable @sshole […] Whilst on positives, the effects looked decent. I liked the ghostly paranormal thing through most of the film whilst it is moving fast from room to room leaving body parts in its wake. A great big pile of meh.” Cool Kids Film Club Podcast

Lair is a solid horror/thriller that has a few decent scares and an uncomplicated plot that will hold your attention. The story could have been fleshed out a little more to explain certain aspects and I did feel that Crow sometimes went for atmosphere over story. For a first feature though, Lair looks fantastic, it genuinely attempts to do something different with possession…” Entertainment Focus

“A great amount of effort has gone into bringing Lair to life. Whilst the visual effects and creature designs are strong, a muddled narrative and poor dialogue choices let Crow’s film down. The bones of the film do show some glimpses of real talent, with a little more self-editing and maturity of experience, Crow could deliver some very interesting future projects.” The Hollywood News

“Themes of misogyny, voyeurism, and gaslighting keep the creep factor high […] The film slightly makes a mess of itself when it delays its third act by chopping it up into pieces, creating a mystery you already suspect the conclusion to. Still, Lair remains entertaining, and once the carnage starts, it’s hard to deny.” Horror Obsessive

“The ins and outs of the plot get fairly hard to follow […] though it pays off with a decent final twist about who’s really been benefiting from all this. I would have said a far-fetched twist, but the believability train leaves well before we get to this juncture and simply delivering a creepy surprise is enough to cap off a messy, but often entertaining picture.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Camera angles, the score, the lighting, even the editing all scream “thriller” not horror. Characters are shot to get them in frame, not to twist the audience’s perspective. Scenes are lit super dark with one light source or so bright the lightbox might as well have been in the shot. And creature scenes just… happen. Very little build-up, no fake-out. In and out, demon quick and dirty.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“While the premise of Lair (the deliberate haunting of an ‘ordinary’, oblivious family) is certainly intriguing, its set-up is too contrived to stand up to scrutiny, and none of it, during its unraveling let alone upon reflection, makes a whole lot of sense, as we (eventually) see an unnecessarily over-complicated stratagem play out, with narrative economy the first to be sacrificed. Lair is a diabolical mess of a movie…” Projected Figures

“Writer/director Adam Ethan Crow has some good ideas here that are not fully realised but he manages to conjure a few good scares along the way. On the plus side, it looks fabulous thanks to Stuart White’s cinematography and there are some genuinely creepy moments.” Starburst

“As a horror film, Lair relies on some very well used elements, demonic dolls, troubled families and a vacation rental that comes complete with a voyeur. Unfortunately, Crow’s idea of doing something different with them is to film them as if he was directing a mystery or a thriller. There’s none of the touches that set up the scares.” Voices from the Balcony

Release:

1091 Pictures acquired the North American distribution rights in July 2021 and Blu-ray and DVD releases were announced for November 23rd 2021.

Cast and characters:

Oded Fehr … Ben Dollarhyde
Corey Johnson … Steven Caramore
Emily Haigh … Sam
Sean Buchanan … Detective Mark Pitt
Alexandra Gilbreath … Wendy Coulson
Aislinn De’Ath … Maria Engel (as Aislinn De’ath)
Lee Nicholas Harris … Stuart Crowley
Alana Wallace … Carly Cortes
Anya Newall … Joey
Paul Warren … Abayzou
Jen Brister … Alaina Sheen
David Whitney … Officer Douglas Caine
Tara Dowd … Carol Dollarhyde
Sam Pamphilon … Sammy Benett
Zara Symes … Officer Kaitlyn Ryan (as Zara Day)
Robert Dukes … Detective Ron Adkin
Joseph Mitchell … Towny
Joe Zalias … PC Kawalski
Simon Balfour … Detective Brightman
Anil Desai … Vito Braisa
Lara Mount
Andrea Bennett … Ana Avila
Kashif O’Connor … Ola
Jack Sidney Burke … Chris
Robb Mookhoek … Self
Nathan Munslow … Evil Peeper

Behind-the-scenes:

New and future releases

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