THE LAIR (2022) 19 reviews of Neil Marshall’s sci-fi horror

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‘Unlocked. Unleashed.”
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.


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.


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.”

Release date:
The Lair had its world premiere at the 2022 Arrow Video FrightFest in London on Thursday, August 25, 2022.
In the US, The Lair was released by RLJE Films theatrically, On Demand (VOD) and on Digital on October 28, 2022. Rent or buy via Amazon Prime


“Marshall continues his Kirk collaboration with The Lair (a third movie from the pair is due out next year), which is basically a remake of James Cameron’s Aliens, only without the style, acting, and ferocity. Marshall can’t do much with his limited resources here, occasionally working up some monster mayhem in small settings while also managing a cringe-inducing screenplay (co-written by Kirk) that leaves no cliché behind.”

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

“Hell, I love a solid creature feature or a good spoof on 80s action horror as much as the next genre fan. I would be applauding and recommending a movie like that. But if there’s one thing I just do not like it’s when a film wants to have its cake and eat it too; Want to be quirky fun and horror gore while having a strong female lead that’s all about visuals rather than abilities. That’s so 1980s in all the wrong ways.” 2 out of 5, Heaven of Horror


“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

“I think it’s a lot of fun as well as heavy on the violence and gore. The pacing works with the right amount of tension without cheating the audience out of action. The characters are great (I’d want Layfayette on my side any day) and the dialogue and decisions they make are authentic and reasonable…” Horror DNA

The Lair serves as something of an homage to Marshall’s favorite film, Zulu, with the characters of Hook, Bromhead, and Jones inspired by historical figures depicted in Cy Endfield’s film. The Lair represents an improvement over The Reckoning, but we all deserve better portrayals of our American service personnel (and their British comrades-in-arms). Not recommended…” J.B. Spins

” …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

” …the screenplay substitutes any kind of personality for some dropped-with-a-thud one-liners, which repeatedly diminish whatever tension might have resulted from the pair of hopeless stand-offs. The third act is especially ridiculous, revolving around a plan that makes no logical or strategic sense at first and, somehow, makes even less sense…” 1.5 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies

” …there’s never any sense of tension or escalation, it’s just attack, pause, attack, pause, attack, until the movie ends.In fairness, Marshall does pull off the occasional fun gory bit – a face getting ripped off here, a surprise attack from behind there – but they’re not enough to make up for the relentless tedium elsewhere.” 2/5, Nerdly

“There’s plenty of blood and guts which will make you squeamish, while the darkness of the bunker provides some creepy moments, but they’re far and few between. The performances are wooden and bland, much like the screenplay. At a running time of 1 hour and 37 minutes, The Lair is yet another mindless, uninspired, tedious, vapid and dull B-movie.” The NYC Movie Guru

“Really, the movie’s performances are the biggest potential roadblock since so much about The Lair is, by now, rather old hat, as Marshall and genre buffs know. (Dog Soldiers fans should definitely seek out The Lair.) But the action filmmaking, from interstitial chases to fight choreography, looks good, and so does the monster and its practically-effected victims.”

” …the creatures’ look seems quite reminiscent of survivor horror videogames, such as DOOM and Resident Evil. While the creature effects and Neil Marshall’s trademark ultra-violent gore are exceptionally well-executed, The Lair is greatly marred by poorly-written dialogue that makes the film feel little more than a B-movie.” 3 out of 5, Sean Kelly on Movies

” …more than makes up for the film’s lack of originality with a tight action-packed climax that’s only partially derailed by a bit of bad CGI. While it can’t match Marshall’s best films, The Lair is an enjoyable creature feature. It’s mindless fun and it knows it. This isn’t something that will stick in your head like the films that inspired it, but it’s fun while it lasts.” 3.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

“Kate is the sort of direct and muscled horror heroine that Marshall put front and center in The Descent, though without the grittiness and complexity that made those women interesting […] The Lair is still a fun ride.  What it lacks in heart and humanity, it makes up for with enough ooze, blood, explosions, and creepy creatures to keep your adrenaline pumping.” Wylie Writes

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