Road Rash Reviews

The Lair Review***--

Cert 15 | 100 mins | 2023

3 star ultra-violent creature feature.

The Lair is a 2023 British action horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), in a return to his creature feature roots.  It is co-written by Charlotte Kirk (The Reckoning, Ocean’s Eight) who also takes the starring role.

It is a Shudder Original film, available in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Platforms from 17th July 2023, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

“We were winding down operations here, but now this new insurgency requires the full extent of what little resources I have. Everything else takes a back seat.”

Capt. Kate Sinclair (Charlotte Kirk) is an R.A.F. pilot flying over Afghanistan. She is shot down over Nangarhar Province and forced to eject. With her fellow pilot killed while protecting her she is forced to run away, chased by insurgents. She takes refuge next to an abandoned underground bunker, with the doors chained shut.

The chains are broken thanks to a rocket fired by the enemy soldiers and she squeezes inside and climbs down an impossibly long ladder, followed by bad guys. Downstairs however, a new level of bad guy awaits. A huge green humanoid with anger issues and very pointy teeth and claws is accidentally released from captivity during a gun fight and it’s not happy.

Escaping into the desert, she is picked up by a unit led by Sergeant Tom Hook (Jonathan Howard – Skylines, Trespassers) who take her to a nearby forward operations base “Camp Cooper” run by the delightful Major Roy Finch (Jamie Bamber – Battlestar Galactica, Marcella) who isn’t inclined to listen to her story. He soon has no choice however, as the creature that was awakened has plenty of friends to bring to the party and he’s heading for the base.

“It was no f***ing man sir, I saw it rip a man’s face from his skull. Claws the size of a grizzly bear.”

The Lair is an action packed film, relentless in it’s pace from start to finish. Neil Marshall is very good at keeping the action flowing and manages to instill a sense of peril even during the quiet moments.

While the portrayal of the realities of serving in Afghanistan seems pretty realistic, service personnel will probably no doubt be annoyed at how unprofessional everybody is, at every opportunity. They are supposed to be trained soldiers after all.

It’s a good idea for a story (if not overly original) and full use has been made of a decent budget to create some fun and gruesome practical effects and a genuinely scary monster.

Where it does fall down a bit is the phony accents, they are truly terrible. It also has quite a few plot holes you could fly an R.A.F. fighter through, although it doesn’t really matter, it’s still good fun and well worth a watch as a popcorn film.

“Weapons free, Sergeant. Kill anything that shrieks.”

The Lair is available in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital from 17th July 2023.

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DirectorNeil Marshall
GenreAction, horror
StarringJonathan Howard, Charlotte Kirk, Jamie Bamber, Leon Ockenden
Available to buy on : Own The Lair on DVD Own The Lair on Blu-Ray
Category: Blu-ray, Digital, dvd, film, Review