After Royal Air Force pilot Kate Sinclair is shot down over Afghanistan, she is forced to seek refuge in an abandoned bunker. However, while this bunker might appear to be empty, the truth is it plays home to a deep dark secret.
Hidden inside the cavernous structure is a series of tanks containing vicious creatures. These creatures are bloodthirsty brutes, that appear to be near invulnerable, and are keen to explore the world up above.
After escaping the bunker, Kate is picked up by a group of soldiers, who she promptly informs of her discovery. But it’s not long before the soldiers come face-to-face with the creatures themselves, leading to a blood-splattered battle for survival.
Directed and co-written by Neil Marshall, The Lair is a sci-fi action horror movie, which is new to Shudder from today. The film stars Jamie Bamber, Jonathan Howard, Leon Ockenden, Hadi Khanjanpour, and Kibong Tanji, with actress Charlotte Kirk taking on double duties by playing Kate Sinclair and co-writing the movie with Marshall.
Daft, a little silly in places, and very predictable, The Lair is a great deal of nonsense, and not something likely to win many awards. This is a brainless romp of the highest order, which lacks originality or depth, and chances are you’ve seen this kind of thing multiple times before.
However, if you’ve got a spare 90(ish) minutes, and maybe a couple of beers in your hand, The Lair still has plenty to offer. The movie features some decent ‘kills’, some creepy-looking monsters, and it is quite likeable in places.
The Lair is the sort of movie you watch on a Friday night, while consuming a takeaway and a couple of cans. You don’t need to think too much about what you’re watching, you just sit back, take it all in, and enjoy The X-Files-lite plot.
As such, while this movie isn’t as strong as some of Marshall’s previous pictures (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), there is some fun to be had. The best way to approach it is to switch off your brain, throw yourself into the action/horror elements, and try not to get too bogged down with the limited story, the various clichés, or some of the less-than stellar acting.
Speaking of which, former Battlestar Galactica actor, Jamie Bamber, plays a grizzled officer with an eye-patch, and it is as bad and as clichéd as you might expect. His performance is so ropey that it is largely down to the eye-patch to do most of the heavy lifting, and that seems frightfully unfair on the ocular garment.
However, I said YOU shouldn’t get too bogged down on the acting, so I’LL not do that either. This film plays a bit like a B-movie, so it has one or two performances to match, but that should be expected as it comes with the territory.
Where the film shines brightest is in the creature effects, which largely stand up quite well. There are a couple of shots where the creatures look a bit like ‘70s Doctor Who monsters, but for the most part the overall design is strong.
The film also has it where it counts in the death department, which should please horror fans. This is a horror movie in which rampaging monsters fight soldiers, with chaos ensuing, and there are one or two grisly kills that up the gore factor quite nicely.
Chuck in a bunch of explosions, plenty of gun-fire, and the odd bit of hacking and slashing, and the action quota is met too. Once again, none of it is ground-breaking stuff, but it is still perfectly fine.
The Lair isn’t the greatest horror film of all-time, but it is perfectly watchable and at times it is enjoyable. The parts which work well balance out the parts that don’t, and the end result is a fun watch so long as you take it for what it is.
Lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and get that takeaway on order, and stock the fridge with plenty of beers.
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[…] his review site, It’s a Stampede‘s Andrew Wiggan called Shudder’s The Lair “[a] brainless romp of the highest […]