Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Cast in The Lurker is Reduced to Just One: A Film Review

*full disclosure: an online screener of this film was provided by Indican Pictures.

**there are mild spoilers here.

Director: Eric Liberacki.

Writer: John Lerchen.

Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Emery, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Ari Lehman and Naomi Grossman.

The Lurker is a slasher film from writer John Lerchen (The Pale Man) and director Eric Liberacki (Spoiled Fruit). This film is scheduled for a Spring release and centrally stars Scout Taylor-Compton as the easy to remember Taylor. Taylor-Compton must carry most of this film as she appears in most of the scenes. And, these scenes primarily consist of a high school rendition of Romeo & Juliet, or of partying the night away. Meanwhile, a knife wielding critic is knocking-off most of the cast. Ari Lehman (Friday the 13th, 1980) also stars, with much of the acting performed decently. A big character reveal comes in the final scenes, along with one or possibly two killers' motivations. The resolution comes with a flurry of action and The Lurker stands out for its solid writing.

Scout Taylor-Compton of Halloween (2007) fame is the protagonist. She is also one of the stars in the Romeo & Juliet high school play. While Juliet was sixteen in the play, Taylor-Compton might be twice that age by now. It is a bit strange seeing such an experienced star playing a high-schooler. Still, the part of Taylor requires someone with maturity. This viewer thought the acting was consistent throughout.

The story of the film cannot totally be revealed here, or the plot would be ruined. Suffice it to say, there are a couple of characters in the film who are hiding an indiscretion. It might be a liaison, or a grade increase scam. Viewers will have to see for themselves what is actually going on. Along the way, Taylor is in conflict with almost everyone on the screen, including her friends. Some of the conflicts are petty. But, when the bodies start piling up, it becomes clear that someone is playing for keeps. Even a party does not go as planned, with several characters disappearing in the brush. You never quite know which way this story will twist-and-turn.

The big reveal comes in the final act. By this time, most of the film watchers will have figured out what is going-on. But, Taylor still knows more than what she is telling. Often lying to those around her, Taylor might be playing more than one role here. Meanwhile, a plague-masked killer is enjoying himself or herself a bit too much, with almost none of the main characters making it into the final few scenes. Still, this viewer was surprised by one late murder, which unravels all of one character's hard (but evil) work. Sometimes, killers have to keep doing what they are best at - more killing!

The resolution does come a bit late; but the finale is worth waiting for. The ending brings the few remaining characters to the hospital. Here, Ari Lehman has a cameo as a charming doctor. But, some of these characters cannot be saved. The final scene is a bit perplexing and others can come-up with their own take, on the conclusion. But, this film fan was surprised to be left with an open ending, rather than a closed one, in The Lurker. Perhaps, the filmmakers are setting up a potential sequel.

The Lurker will debut on DVD and Digital platforms, this April 14th. The film is a bit short at seventy to seventy-one minutes. But, the runtime is stuffed with action, conflict and mystery. Most indie horror fans are going to enjoy what Liberacki and Lerchen have come up with. Taylor-Compton holds her own against a masked killer, while other characters fare less well. There are few dull spots, within the film. And, this viewer liked the late reveal, which might surprise a few. The Lurker is a fun time spent with a crafty killer or two.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

The Lurker at Indican Pictures: The Lurker Release Details at Indican

A trailer for the film on 28DLA: A The Lurker Trailer on 28DLA

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