• Lost After Dark

    Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Released on: September 1st, 2015.
    Director: Ian Kessner
    Cast: Robert Patrick, David Lipper, Alexander Calvert
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Ian Kessner, who co-wrote with Bo Ransdell, 2014’s Lost After Dark is an ‘homage’ to the eighties slasher films that are so near and dear to many of our hearts. The story introduces us to a young woman named Adrienne (Kendra Leigh Timmins) as she talks to her father (David Lipper) about her plans to go to the school dance and then head off to visit her sister for the weekend. She hits the dance where she meets up with friends Laurie (Sarah Fisher), Marilyn (Eve Harlow), Jamie (Elise Gatien), Johnnie (Alexander Calvert), Tobe (Jesse Camacho), Wes (Stephen James) and Sean (Justin Kelly). After a run in with their militant principal, Mr. Cunningham (Robert Patrick), they sneak out and hotwire a school bus to get out of town.

    Along the way they drink and they smoke and they listen to eighties music… and then they run out of gas. Stuck in the middle of nowhere they head to a nearby house completely unaware that a guy who looks like Rob Zombie with bad teeth referred to as Joad (Mark Wiebe) roams the grounds with a penchant for murder and mayhem. He starts stalking and slashing while, back in the city, Adrienne’s father and Mr. Cunningham try to figure out what happened to the kids.

    That’s about it. There’s ZERO character development here so when the movie starts knocking off its cast of characters about forty minutes in, you don’t really care too much. They’re all basically interchangeable and while the script tries to give us different eighties stereotypes (Tobe is the fat kid, Heather is the rich bitch, Marilyn is the outsider goth chick and Johnnie is the jock/asshole) it’s not enough to really help us differentiate between them. The whole thing is predictable and while that’s often part of the charm of older slasher movies, here it’s just not that interesting because it doesn’t do anything to make itself stand out. The performances don’t help things either. The cast members are all attractive enough but they don’t manage to infuse their characters with anything much in terms of personality. It’s all well and good that they’re named after iconic horror movie actors, actresses and directors but that doesn’t make them interesting or relatable.

    On top of that, the filmmakers not only opt to put fake print damage overtop of the digitally shot feature to make it look ‘retro’ but they even rip off the ‘missing reel’ gag that was used in Planet Terror. That’s not cute. That’s not original. That doesn’t make your movie an effective take on what once was and it doesn’t make your movie good, at least not without other qualities for viewers to latch onto.

    So is there anything here for viewers to latch onto? Well, the locations are nice. This was shot in Sudbury Ontario – home of the Big Nickel – and nearby Perry Sound, Ontario and the movie, once it moves out into the sticks, has a nice atmosphere of isolation that helps things a bit. The old house and surrounding farm buildings are creepy enough and they work quite well. On top of that, the murder set pieces are typically pretty solid. There’s some obvious use of CGI here and there but it’s infrequent and most of the gore is done the old fashioned way, the kind that horror fans in particular will appreciate. That’s not really enough to make this one worth tracking down though…


    Anchor Bay presents Lost After Dark in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78.1 widescreen and aside from the aforementioned ‘print damage’ it looks good. The detail you’d expect is there and as it was shot digitally the only damage or dirt present is the fake stuff that the filmmakers layered on digitally. Colors are well reproduced and black levels look good. The disc is free of compression artifacts and yeah, it looks just fine.

    Audio chores are handled by a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. This is a pretty decent mix with some impressive directional effects used in the more active scenes. The ‘eighties era’ score has good dynamics and range while the dialogue remains clean, clear and well balanced. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    There are a few previews for unrelated Anchor Bay properties that play before the main menu loads, but outside of that, well, we get chapter stops, so that’s something.

    The Final Word:

    Lost After Dark has a few pretty cool kill scenes going for it and it occasionally offers up some impressive location photography but the story itself is completely lacking in both originality and character development. If bloody kills and a high body count are enough, jump right in – but those looking for something more will doubtlessly leave this one disappointed.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Newt Cox's Avatar
      Newt Cox -
      Just finished watching this. And totally agree. It felt generic and kind of boring.