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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

THE LURKER (Film Review)

                          Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Naomi Grossman, Ari Lehman

                                                  Directed by: Eric Liberacki


   Sooner or later, it simply had to happen. When you sift through what seems like endless piles of poo-poo tossed on film, in that rare occurrence you'll find a dullened pearl that shines ever so lightly once the crap is thoroughly hosed off. In an even sadder turn of events, you'll come across something that still has that distinctive "reek" to it, no matter what process is utilized to purify and sterilize...enter Exhibit A: The Lurker from director Eric Liberacki - get your splash guards on, students - this one's gonna leave a stinky stain on your duds if not protected.

  The film tags along with a group of (cough, cough) "high-school" theater students as they're readying to wrap up production on their presentation of "Romeo and Juliet." The reviews have been decent, and all seems well outside of some generalized tension between actors (Michael Emery in his role of Miles Little sets the bar for douchebaggery - well done). The Juliet to his Romeo? Well, it's none other than the beautiful Scout Taylor-Compton, and her character of...well, Taylor is pedestrian at best - she's got problems with just more than her leading fellow, and the cracks are starting to show. If it's not enough that the play is heading towards a fireball completion of sorts, there's a killer in a black hoodie and plague doctor mask, offing students in the most yawn-inducing of ways. This one has all the dented bells and broken whistles of a late-80's, early 90's slasher minus the thought, execution, creativity, likeability of personas and general "must-see" aura that usually comes attached to a horror film.

   The movie makes a half-hearted attempt to reel in the audience for a whodunit-styled presentation, but when more than a handful of potential suspects are tossed at the audience like rice at a wedding reception, it waters down the entire notion and renders the game unsatisfying. Now while I'm a fan of Taylor-Compton's work, the believability rate of she and several of her co-stars coming off as high-schoolers? Yeah, it wasn't happening in the least. Horror fans are even chucked a very small bone with the cast inclusion of names such as Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) and Ari Lehman (thie first ever little Voorhees) - don't get too attached as their screen time is brief at absolute best. Kills are as lame as a three-legged turtle and when the conclusion (and eventual payoff) lands in your lap, you'll more than likely be wiping the sleep-boogers from the corners of your eyes.

 Overall, The Lurker is one of those wanna-be slashers that is left standing at the bus-stop, like a sad child on his first day of school - don't worry, little Buckaroo: there was many before you, and there will more than likely be a crap-ton after you.

 FILM SCORE: 1.5 out of 5

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