Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Lurkers (1988)

This is one of those horror films that aims for 'steadily increasing unease' and instead hits 'steadily increasing boredom'.  70 minutes of the main character seeing a little girl who shouldn't be there, and then freaking out about it, while we learn that her apparently caring fiance is secretly a douche ... well, it doesn't actually lead to much of actual interest happening.

Cathy had a pretty terrible childhood, with an abusive mother who ultimately murdered her father, and neighboring kids who apparently tried to choke her with a skipping rope.  Those kids should be out on the rodeo circuit, earning their fortunes with their rope trick skills.

Once she's grown up, Cathy seems to have things together.  She's a professional musician, engaged to a photographer.  Of course, she still has bad dreams, and they've been getting worse lately.  Maybe due to the stress of her upcoming nuptials, and the worry over whether her brother - who seems to blame her for their father's death - will attend.

Or maybe it's due to the incredibly convoluted plan that a bunch of Satanists have cooked up to murder her.

When I saw the film Arlington Road, my reaction was "anyone smart enough to make that plan work should be smart enough to come up with a better plan".  And this film suffers from the same problem: the Satanists ultimately want to get Cathy back to her childhood home so they can kill her, a task to which they dedicate what appears to be years of effort, infiltrating multiple aspects of her life.  Having one of the characters lampshade this by griping "Bob always makes things too complicated. We should have just grabbed the girl." does not actually make it not a problem, movie.

Speaking of problems: the film associates lesbianism with devil worship.  Screw you, movie.

After the (interminable) build up, we get the final act of the film.  Frankly, this takes about twice as long as it should, and climaxes with a long speech from the bad guys as to why they're doing what they're doing (short form: "Because we're evil").  Then there's an overlong epilogue that aims to offer one last 'chilling twist', but mainly just offers relief that the movie is over.

Skip it.

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