Film Review: Lair (2021)

It’s always good to see the glorious Alexandra Gilbreath but uneven horror film Lair doesn’t quite match up to her talent

“I’d unplug your life support to charge my phone”

A film that has my revered Alexandra Gilbreath deliver the above line whilst in a power suit is bound to score a brownie point or two but in the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure that horror film Lair would score much more besides in my book. Written and directed by Adam Ethan Crow with additional material from Stuart Wright, it offers a couple of hints of an interesting take but ends up as run-of-the-mill fare.

We open with a properly chilling scene, a family man brutally murdering his wife and child and then claiming to his pal and occult expert Steven Caramore that he was possessed by an artifact that he’d given him. Gilbreath’s lawyer charges Caramore with investigating, which he duly does by creating an experiment involving renting out his dead father’s flat on Airbnb and testing out the supposedly haunted objects on the unsuspecting family who’ve booked in.

But having come up with two interesting conceits – man trying to prove innocence and family abused in experiment – Crow fudges them both, mainly through the character of Caramore. Played with real sleaziness by Corey Johnson, his motivations are all over the show – wanting shit to happen so that he can sell the footage and then hiding it once it does, plus numerous sideplots distracting focus all the way through.

So for all its good points – Gilbreath, sparingly but effectively used; queer family dynamics; a well-realised and disturbingly conceived monster – there’s too much else weighing it down. Clunky dialogue (Johnson is landed with some real stinkers ‘Mother of Dragons’…?!, confusing structure and generally poor execution, Lair is probably left undisturbed.

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