Reviewbr> "These things might not be human anymore, but if you put enough lead into them they'll go down." - Michaels
Thirteen levels below ground a group of eight survivors try and fight for their lives against former colleagues who have mutated into blood thirsty monsters. Our team will need to get to a secure area that is easy to defend, work out how to make it to the surface, and hopefully get an air evac off planet. Possibly hampering their best efforts are the authorities who have locked down the base due to something they were experimenting on escaping the lab and threatening a biblical rain of madness.
Not everyone is going to make it the surface, not everyone is who they seem, and what secret is Supervisor Koneig hiding? You want an action movie featuring freaking monsters running amuck, well you're in the right movie, let's lock this one down and sift through the data.
If you are after a monster movie that doesn't let up on the action and alien slime hitting the lens then dial on in. If, however, you are after something slightly more meaningful then this may not be the movie of your dreams. In short The Dark Lurking doesn't try to be anything more than it is, survivors battling monsters in an underground research station that has gone into lock down mode. Sometimes this is all you need in a monster movie, let's face facts here folks, anyone attacking this movie for being what it is, unapologetic "B" movie monster madness, needs to maybe take a good look at their own inability to select movies. If it looks like a cat, acts like a cat, and squishes like a cat, then it might just be a cat! You might think you are being all cool and tough like on the interwebs, but you are actually coming off as a bit of a pork chop. With that said, lets rock through the bad times before finding some good.
Anyone that mentions Doom and the gateway to hell that didn't happen because of the religious right should immediately bow their heads in shame, Lurking is nothing like that shambles. Sure we get staff of a research base being turned into hellish monsters intent on killing the living, the gates of hell have opened, and the big bad is coming at you, but that stuff wasn't like shown in the Doom movie, I'm not talking the games here y'all. Besides which this is all about a group of survivors along with their military escort trying to get out of dodge … hang about. To be honest the acting in Lurking was about what you would expect, on par with Doom, both movies failing to hit the T&A exploitation wagon to avoid audiences noticing.
Like most monster movies this one doesn't pretend to be about the human condition, its all about the monsters yo!And I really don't get why everyone is comparing Lurking to James Cameron's Aliens. Sure both movies feature a band of tough talking marines and civilians barricading themselves in a control centre, with the clock ticking down to nuclear annihilation, but Lurking goes more with the dudes in the latex approach … uhmm yeah okay, the odd slight similarity. Well okay Aliens had high production values and a lot of money being spent on SFX to get the Audience groove on, while Lurking has to make do with a low budget, and some green filters. On the bright side I quite dug the creature designs, a return to the 1980s aesthetic of doing more with less. The entire budget for Lurking, nowhere near what the imdb.com think it was, would not have kept Mr Cameron in his morning smoko pastries. I'm actually quite impressed with what was achieved here on a shoe string. And full marks for movie makers prepared to go with latex rather than simply getting their nerd cousin to knock something up on his Commodore 64, (I'm hip to the retro Bro!).
There were a couple of comparisons being made from the bunker, and I'm here to say we should hang our heads in shame over this. You know who I'm talking about, no use hiding in the freaking corner. Anyways Resident Evil, the first movie in that high octane zombie franchise, got a mention. Sure we get some chick waking up with no knowledge of where she is, or more importantly what has been done to her, but that's where the comparisons end. There's also a shower scene just to ensure the T&A isn't totally off the agenda, sorry not much to report home about. While the Resident Evil franchise is increasing about super powers, Lurking has different fish to fry, and less random boob shoots to exploit. Strangely Lurking works it's newly awaken test subject into the plot in a far more coherent fashion than RE manages to achieve. Unfortunately the ham fisted dialogue and atrocious acting sort of hinder the full appreciation of a slick plot development that roles off the screen without taking the Audience out of the movie.
The other comparison we hit, and this was sort of left field, was with John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. Without giving too much away, both movies deal with an ancient evil brought to life, with the final scenes in Lurking reminiscent of JC's ethereal atmosphere in the earlier movie. Sure I guess the whole necronomicon approach could also be compared to The Exorcist: The Beginning in terms of background story, but I'm sticking with a wink toward John Carpenter and taking it from there. At the very least the background plot delivered some texture and awesomeness to the whole fandango. Going to leave it there as we are well into spoiler Country, surely you want some surprises coming at you when you sit down to groove to this monster mash?
While The Darkness Lurking, and that title will make a whole lot of sense once you have viewed the movie, owes a debt of gratitude to previous movies, it sort of rocks on developing its own mojo. That might be strictly "B" grade monster mojo, but what else did you expect going in? There's plenty of action, one liners being dropped, and of course enough exploding body parts to have gorehounds woofing down their PAL without any troubles. The only thing missing was a large T&A quota, always a requirement I feel, but hey I rocked on without it. On the subject of T&A, the imdb are telling everyone Lurking is Ozploitation, sorry the movie is missing a couple of requirements amigos, maybe do some research before throwing around terms you clearly don't have an understanding of. I did mention the acting is pretty poor and the dialogue is best left unvisited right?
I almost forgot to mention the score, industrial rock that is meant to reinforce the testerone levels flying around and the violence gets results attitude. Okay worked for me without really having me search out the score.
While you could write off The Darkness Lurking as simply being a bad movie, that would be akin to saying Titanic is simply a yarn about a boat sinking. Lurking operates off its own base of mediocrity, doesn't try to be more than it can be, and pretty much delivers the advertised action quota. As such I had a pretty good time, sure not on my recommended list, but if you don't mind "B" grade monster shenanigans then dig right in, the movie is going to pay you back. I certainly don't need to get a couple of hours of my life back, Lurking provided some no brainer, easy to digest, action, with a tinge of metaphysical meandering to keep things interesting. Passing mark from yours truly.
If living Downunder then you might have a few problems sourcing this one. There doesn't appear to be a local release, sucks to be us, but amazon.com and other online retailers should be able to fit you up with a DVD. Blu-ray fanatics and I guess we should be talking the latest format, might be right out of luck. If ordering in the DVD, remember to ensure your player is multi-regional as there doesn't appear to be a region free option. For people outside North America, check your own local online retail outlets, seems quite a number of Aussie movies get released to every region except 4, our encoding. Someone want to explain how that works!