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‘Lurking Fear’ (review)

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Produced by Charles Band
Based on the work of HP Lovecraft
Written and Directed by C. Courtney Joyner
Starring Blake Bailey, Ashley Laurence,
Jon Finch, Jeffrey Combs, Vincent Schiavelli
On Blu-ray June 15th from Full Moon Features

John Martense is fresh out of prison for a crime he may not have committed when he meets up with Knaggs, a family friend and mortician who gives John half of a treasure map and the answers to John’s questions about the half that he already possessed.

It seems that John’s father had stolen some money and Knaggs helped him hide it in a body, and the completed map leads to the money’s location in the graveyard of a small town called Leffert’s Corners.

Unfortunately for John the town of Leffert’s Corners has been plagued with creature related disappearances and a small group of locals have planned a stand off with the creatures this very night in the same cemetery. To make things more complicated three criminals, who John’s father stole the money from, also show up to recover their cash only to find himself trapped in the middle of this stand off.

Lurking Fear is a competent and entertaining film that unfortunately suffers from being produced during the pre-Scream early nineties slump for horror and therefore obviously didn’t have the budget to quite capture the scope of the story. Writer/director C. Courtney Joyner has done a decent job of expanding and modernizing the Lovecraft short story into an interesting film while retaining some of it’s mood but lost most of the actual short along the way and unfortunately left many of the characters as one dimensional caricatures. Although the character’s have not been fleshed out the film has an incredible cast to give them personality and make them memorable such as Jeffrey Combs as the drunken Doctor Haggis, Ashley Laurence as a woman seeking revenge on the creatures for her sisters’ death, and John Finch as Bennett the criminal John’s father stole from.

The main stand out of the Lurking Fear is the film’s special effects as the creatures are quite good looking and unique while the kill scenes feature some excellent effects as well. Also worth noting is that this review is for the new Blu-ray release and the films transfer looks very good, especially considering that when I last saw this movie it was as a “New Release” VHS rental. The transfer has a great deal of detail and color not originally seen in home video releases yet isn’t so crisp that it cheapens the effects work which is a win-win situation all around. Although it should be stated that I reviewed this film via a streaming HD file and not the actual disc so the quality of the actual Blu-ray may be better and I cannot comment on the amount of or quality of any special features.

If you are a fan of Lovecraft films, Full Moon Entertainment films, or if this story just sounded interesting to you I would recommend checking out Lurking Fear because I have always found it to be an entertaining film that may stray from it’s source material, but has fun doing it.

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