HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

THE LURKER -- Movie Review by Porfle

Nice to see that current slasher movies are no longer required to possess a SCREAM-style self awareness and can just go back to being slasher movies.  A case in point is the low-budget, very 80s influenced THE LURKER (2019), which takes its story of a troubled high school senior  and her classmates being terrorized by a masked killer very seriously.

Not a stellar production by any means, this is a perfectly adequate and at times above-average effort that spends enough time focusing on Taylor (Scout Taylor-Compton), her personal problems, and her volatile interactions with various classmates to raise it above the usual "obnoxious teens get slaughtered one by one during a party" drivel.

Taylor, it turns out, yearns to be an actress and is currently playing Juliet in the senior play to a Romeo who's little more than an obnoxious horndog.  Meanwhile,  some mean girls have gotten Taylor at a disadvantage by learning her most dreaded secret and are using it to push all her buttons as often as possible.

As if that weren't enough, Taylor comes from a broken home (her father disappeared, leaving her with a caring mother and her current boyfriend) and, for some reason, the play's director has developed a raging hard-off for her, vowing with considerable contempt that she will fail in her acting aspirations.

The film concentrates so much on Taylor's personal problems, in fact, that the first couple of kill sequences seem tacked-on.  This will change later on, however, when a cast party at "Romeo's" house becomes a hunting ground for the deadly stalker in the black hoodie and bird-beak mask. 

Up until that point THE LURKER moves at a leisurely pace that's punctuated by the brutal murders of a school counsellor who suffers multiple stabbings with a sharp, jagged object, and a classmate whose head is pulverized by a cinder block behind the theater during a break in the play. 

Later, when the party's bloody festivities get under way, gore fans will be treated to several killings but may not be entirely satisfied with the rather run-of-the-mill throat slashings, chokings, blunt-object bludgeonings, and the like, some of which occur either off-camera or in very quick shots.

Still, things remain lively throughout the film's second half, during which everyone ends up back at the school (I missed exactly how that happened) for more bloody mayhem and a plot revelation or two.  The real shock ending comes later at the hospital, where the massacre's survivors discover that the carnage is yet to reach its final horrific peak.

As the story unfolds, we're treated to a few possible candidates for the title role.  These include a creepy long-haired janitor named Drew (Eddie Huchro) with an unhealthy interest in Taylor, as well as her co-star's even creepier dad who shows up at the party drunk and wielding a shotgun, and who has an even unhealthier interest in Taylor when she asks him where the bathroom is.

Technical aspects are nicely done--director Eric Liberacki (SPOILED FRUIT) does a solid job--and the performances are good. The doctor in the hospital scenes is played by none other than the original Jason in "Friday the 13th", Ari Lehman. Scout Taylor-Compton (THE LUMBER BARON, 247°F, CYNTHIA) will be familiar to many as Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" films.

Slow spots and improbable story points are pretty much forgiven once the action gets going, which it does in fairly good style for such a modest, well-meaning shocker.  THE LURKER sets out to be a bloody 80s-style slasher movie that doesn't kid around, and it does so in entertaining fashion.

Runtime: 80 minutes
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: Dolby Sr.
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: Pending - should be an R


No comments: