Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 16th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1994
Director: C. Courtney Joyner
Writer: C. Courtney Joyner
Cast: Jon Finch, Blake Adams, Ashley Laurence, Jeffrey Combs, Allison Mackie, Paul Mantee, Vincent Schiavelli
DVD released: May 19th, 2014
Approximate running time: 74 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.45
Synopsis: For many generations the citizens of a small rural town has been stalked and killed by deformed beings that live underground.
The works of H.P. Lovercraft has served as countless film adaptions, many of which retain the title from the story they were adapted from, while others not listing Lovecraft’s name even though they were clearly inspired by his stories. In the case of this adaption from Full Moon they only keep the title and the carnivorous creatures that live under ground.
As far as Lovecraft adaptions go this film actually holds up really well and a lot of why it works is because of the things that were added beyond the original source material. It is not a secret that trying to adapt the stories of Lovecraft is not an easy task and that is why very few have ever tried to do a faithful adaption.
At the center of this tale of the macabre is a story about a young man who is returning to the home of his ancestors for the first time ever. His father who has recently passed away told him about a fortune that was stashed underground. Along the way he befriends the remaining townspeople who are all congregate at the church waiting for a final showdown with the creatures that dwell below. And as if having to deal with these flesh eating creatures was enough, a few shady characters from the young man’s past come to town looking for the fortune that also brought him there.
From a production stand point the narrative moves along briskly and the film’s visuals are strong throughout as they manage to create much needed atmosphere to convincingly sell the story at hand. Where the first half is more about establishing who everyone is? The majority of the scares are saved for the second half of the film. The special effects look very good and well executed, especially the make-up for the creatures. Also though most deaths are not that bloody, the majority of the kills are sufficiently gory. If there was an area that does not work as a well as the rest of the film that would be the ending which feels rushed for convenience.
Performance wise this film has a strong cast that is headlined by Lovecraft film regular Jeffery Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond) and Jon Finch (Frenzy). Of course Combs once again plays a doctor, while Finch plays this films main bad guy. Another familiar face is Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II) she portrays a tough as nails young woman who is driven by the death of her sister who was years before killed by the creatures.
When it comes to Full Moon films they are hit and miss, with the majority falling into the latter category. And though Lurking Fear is also not a film without its own share of short comings, the end result is a well-made Horror film that easily sets itself apart from the majority of dreck that Full Moon releases.
88 Films presents Lurking Fear in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The image at times lack clarity, black levels are at best average and there are some mild issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include a teaser trailer for the film (1 minute 2 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio), a brief ‘Making of’ segment (6 minutes 40 seconds – 1.33:1 aspect ratio) and trailers for other films also available from 88 Films. Overall Lurking Fear gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from 88 Films.