Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Movie Review: Lost After Dark (2015)

Lost After Dark (2015) - Canada - Horror - Rated R
Directed by Ian Kessner
Starring Elise Gatien, Jesse Camacho, Kendra Leigh Timmins, Justin Kelly, Eve Harlow, Stephan James, Lanie McAuley, Alexander Calvert, David Lipper, Sarah Fisher, Mark Wiebe, Robert Patrick

A retro slasher flick set in the 80s succeeds in having the look and feel of a genuine 80s slasher flick with some creative touches to boot.

Adrienne and her fellow high school friends are sneaking off for the weekend to use her father's cabin for some fun and sex. They steal a school bus during a high school dance and make their way toward the cabin but run out of gas. Finding an old abandoned house that looks like it belongs in a horror movie provides a place for them to stay, but they soon discover this book can be judged by its cover as they are being stalked by a killer.

If someone didn't know better, barring recognizing any of the actors, it would appear this movie were an actual 80s slasher movie. The music, the vehicles used, Adrienne's home, the school, even down to the black guy wearing a comb in his 'fro, they paid attention to a lot of detail to make it look genuine. They even throw in occasional scratches on the film, lens flare, and a burnout for that authentic look.

The story is not any different from a hundred slasher movies from the 80s. A group of teenagers are out at night on their way to party and have sex and instead run into a killer whose family tree most likely has never branched. The story itself is also the weakest part of the movie as, with any 80s slasher flick, it takes its time getting to the eventual killings.

There are several creative touches to this. Don't get comfortable with thinking you know who the protagonist of the story is. The first kill is an absolute shock you will not see coming, and at that point anyone is fair game as the next victim. In addition to the burnout I mentioned before they use another glitch in the movie which actually allows them to introduce a plot twist.

A not so creative touch, like so many horror and especially slasher movies, is this one takes place entirely at night and some scenes can be a little on the dark side. I watched the movie from a DVD on my laptop which could account for some of the scenes being a little difficult to make out. Watching it on a TV screen is advised over a laptop.

Robert Patrick adds a bit of humor by playing the typical 80s Vietnam vet turned gung ho teacher, in this case it's gung ho vice-principal, and he has fun chewing the scenery with this character interestingly named Mr. Cunningham or Mr. C. Most of the rest of the characters are stereotypical for the time period as well.

A bit of warning for anybody who is disturbed by animal cruelty scenes, this may be one you want to skip. The scene does not show anything, so there is no actual animal cruelty, but it is implied and brutal at that, and probably will stick with you during the rest of the movie.

My Rating: 4 Fingers

Get Lost After Dark on Blu-ray, DVD or Instant Video

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