Lair (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Lair (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Bleaz79 on November 24th, 2021 | Movie Review | Possession, Supernatural, Haunted House, Dysfunctional Family, Satanic

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It’s about a man who attempts to prove his friend's innocence for the brutal slaying of his wife & child and, at the same time, confirm the existence of demonic possession by using a damaged family as the unwitting pawns in his plan.

Lair was directed by Adam Ethan Crow and stars Oded Fehr (The Mummy), Corey Johnson (Ex Machina), Emily Haigh, Alana Wallace and Sean Buchanan.

Sometimes your inner demons get out.

Lair (2021)

A small, near single setting film that harks back to the claustrophobia of Rosemary’s Baby with the familial creeps of Insidious.

Lair is a pretty by the numbers haunted house (or in this case apartment) movie that benefits from a solid cast and effective setting. Johnson is suitably slimy and yet strangely relatable as Steven Caramore, the man trying to prove the innocence of his friend (Fehr), whilst the supporting cast, including Haigh and Wallace, do a great job of portraying a family that is struggling with their new dynamic, desperately hoping that a week away in London will allow them to bond and reform damaged relationships.

Tension is steadily built throughout the film, from a suitably uncomfortable and slightly distressing opening to a subdued but effective climax; each scene repeatedly building on the previous one. This is not a movie that is one for jump scares but one that relies more on atmosphere than gratuitous or graphic violence and gore.

That’s not to say it is without its own moments of bloodiness, when the blood does come it is in short, sharp, vicious bursts. There are a couple of moments which really play on the uncertainty and desperation of the younger characters, a child and a teen who are finding their way in life when they are suddenly confronted by something that wants to end it.

The problem with Lair is that it just doesn't know what type of horror movie it really wants to be. It begins as a brutal, possible serial killer flick before moving to be a dark crime thriller with subtle supernatural undertones, next it’s a voyeuristic twist on the ghost story before finally going full blown gory, ghost/possession film. This frustratingly undoes all the great work of the cast, direction and dialogue meaning that, on more than one occasion, the viewer becomes as confused as the slowly more and more traumatised family.

Another thing is that Oded Fehr is all over the marketing for this (he’s first on the IMDB credits list) but he’s only in the film for about 10 minutes. Once you realise that, there’s a lack of trust that again undermines the movie as a whole, which is an additionally frustrating point against it.

Worth Watching?

Yes, if you’re looking for a chiller to watch with a couple of drinks and a pizza, it’s a perfectly serviceable haunted house movie. If you’re looking for something more akin to Rosemary’s Baby and slow burn horrors of that ilk, take some time and look elsewhere.

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