THE LAIR is a new Neil Marshall horror action movie. It has both a comedy creature feature story and a B horror movie vibe. If you watch it for gore and comedy (but not horror), it’s okay. Read our full The Lair movie review here!
THE LAIR is a new action horror movie by Neil Marshall. And while it is a step up from his previous movie, I am still not impressed. We follow a lead character played by Charlotte Kirk. She’s a fighter pilot on tour in Afghanistan in 2017, but she isn’t in that classic flight suit we all know from movies like Top Gun.
Obviously, this unflattering outfit just doesn’t work. So, instead, she’s in tight pants and a tank top for most of the movie. All while other soldiers are in full uniform made of that thick and clunky fabric. It’s like being in some video game made by (and for) teenage boys.
Still, on paper, I should love this movie since it’s both a comedic creature feature story and has a B horror-action vibe. Unfortunately, it takes itself way too seriously instead of having fun with these subgenres.
Continue reading our The Lair movie review below to find out why it just does not work!
Charlotte Kirk stars in The Lair
From the very beginning of The Lair, it’s obvious that this is yet another Charlotte Kirk vehicle. Unfortunately, the focus seems to be on making her look good rather than be good.
To be completely honest, I could easily buy into all this if it was addressed and used in the story; Make a point out of how silly this is or incorporate it into the story naturally, and I’m fine with it!
IT WORKS IN MOVIES SUCH AS…
The Babysitter, The Hunt, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Ready or Not, You’re Next or even Mad Max: Fury Road – to name just a few that spring to mind.
Hell, I love a solid creature feature or a good spoof on 80s action horror as much as the next genre fan. I would be applauding and recommending a movie like that.
But if there’s one thing I just do not like it’s when a film wants to have its cake and eat it too; Want to be quirky fun and horror gore while having a strong female lead that’s all about visuals rather than abilities.
That’s so 1980s in all the wrong ways. After all, I am a child of the 1980s and I grew up with Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and Laurie Strode. I know you can be both feminine and strong, beautiful and smart.
But you cannot be more focused on having perfect hair on your lead than telling a good story!
Supporting cast in The Lair
While this is clearly a movie made for Charlotte Kirk to have a starring role, there are a lot of other characters in The Lair. Which is a very good thing and yet another step up from The Reckoning. One of the few actors also playing his role straight is Jonathan Howard (Trespassers). And it works!
An actor like Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica, Marcella) clearly acts like that is the movie he believes he’s in. A soldier with an eye patch and a chip on his shoulder, sporting an American accent so over the top that is pure horror-comedy. It reminded me of Feed Me (do not miss out on that one!).
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The really sad and unfortunate thing is, I have a feeling Charlotte Kirk could be really good in something like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. She has that perfect period-piece vibe that could be awesome in a horror movie.
Had Neil Marshall directed The Descent today and put her in the lead with the focus he has now, it would have been dead in the water.
Basically, this is me hoping that the third time is a charm. I have no doubt they will continue making movies together, so why not be great together?! This current style is not working.
What is up with Neil Marshall?
After his previous movie The Reckoning, I don’t expect too much from him. Which is a real shame, because he truly has been one of my favorite horror movie directors. Unfortunately, his two recent movies are messy and incoherent. And that’s me trying to be objective and kind.
Watching first The Reckoning and now The Lair, the best thing I can say about his latest movie is that it isn’t as bad as his previous movie. Honestly, this doesn’t say much.
I cannot for the life of me figure out how someone who made Dog Soldiers and The Descent (one of my favorite horror movies), can be the same man who directed these two last films. I can however look at one strange fact; When he directed these iconic horror movies, he was married to Axelle Carolyn.
Since the two got divorced, his original movies (not including Hellboy or TV series) have been these B movie productions, where everything from the lighting to the story and acting is all over the place. I’ve watched super low-budget movies that had better lighting, characters, and story.
Axelle Carolyn, on the other hand, is doing very well. She’s directed episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Creepshow, American Horror Story, and The Midnight Club.
Also, when they were together, his movies had actual strong, tough, and flawed women in the lead. Not a female protagonist with hair and make-up constantly on point and always in tight fitting outfits. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!
You can watch The Lair in theaters and on digital (or on Shudder later)
As mentioned many times over already, the director of The Lair is Neil Marshall. The iconic and brilliant horror movie director of years past. These days, he’s writing movies with his star, Charlotte Kirk, and it does nothing good for either of them.
Shudder will be releasing The Lair in early 2023. Personally, I would just wait and watch the movie when it’s on Shudder. It’s fine to watch as a fun creature feature with great practical effects (I will definitely give it that) and some actors giving off spoof or horror-comedy vibes.
As for actual horror that could put even the slightest fright in me? I didn’t see any. In fact, I don’t think my pulse even changed while watching this.
The Lair is out In Theaters, On Demand, and on Digital from October 28, 2022. It will be on Shudder later.
Director: Neil Marshall
Writers: Neil Marshall, Charlotte Kirk
Cast: Charlotte Kirk, Jamie Bamber, Jonathan Howard
When Royal Air Force pilot Lt. Kate Sinclair (Kirk) is shot down over Afghanistan, she finds refuge in an abandoned underground bunker where deadly man-made biological weapons – half human, half alien – are awakened.
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