THE LURING (2019)
Directed by Christopher Wells
Written by Christopher Wells
Starring Rick Irwin, Molly Fahey, Michaela Sprague, Jake Katzman, Alex Emanuel, Daniel Martin Berkey, Henry Gagliardi, Laura Spaeth, Angela Rambourg, Patricia Hammond, Clara McKay, Chelsea Reed Davis, Ava-Riley Miles, Kristan Lyon, Gavin Maddox Bergman, Brian Berg, Mary McGloin, Jack Garrity, Matan Barr, Al Marz, Chelsea Reed Davis
Find out more about this film here!!
Well, that was a movie.
While I am sure that THE LURING is a bad film, I don’t know if it is so bad that it is good or just plain bad. I must admit, I was entertained, but only in a trainwreck kind of fascination to see what random shit is coming up next and if the film can stick the landing at the end. Well, a lot of random shit did happen and the film ends up landing in something.
Rick Irwin is Garrett, a New Yorker returning to his parent’s summer home in Vermont. As explained in an uncomfortable and unnatural dialog with his therapist who talks like she is reading directly off of Wiki, Garret suffers from dissociative amnesia and has periods of time from his youth that he can’t remember. He hopes that this trip to Vermont might shake loose some of those memories. With his clingy girlfriend Claire (Michaela Sprague) in tow, they arrive at the cabin and Garret immediately begins having flashbacks. Garrett also receives a letter from a woman from his past (Molly Fahey) that he can’t remember either, but he is intrigued by her. So much intrigued that he is thinking about dumping Claire for her. As Garrett begins uncovering his past, weird shit begins happening all around and it seems the house is the cause of all of the craziness…I think.
I think, maybe, the randomness of THE LURING is some intentional decision to try to be experimental and next level. The film simply doesn’t pay attention to rational thought processes, natural conclusions, and linear and concrete thought. There are moments that startled me, not because they are well timed scares, but because they come relatively out of the blue for no reason. For example, Claire keeps hearing knocks around the house which seems to be driving her insane (along with Garrett of course), so she starts running around the house and she then sees a little boy with a balloon. And then a clown on stilts shows up….
…for no reason…
…in the last fifteen minutes of the movie.
Most likely, THE LURING is being made by people who don’t really know what they’re doing. No one is paying attention to make sure this descent into madness is smooth or leaps a chapter or two. All of a sudden, characters are batshit crazy. Huge conclusions are hopped to. And characters all of a sudden show up, then disappear. There’s even a bit towards the end that gets all INCEPTION-y where there is a flashback within a flashback. It’s narratively nutso and I think it’s because no one really knows what is going on, including filmmaker Christopher Wells. Everything culminates to a nonsense ending that sort of follows the timeline, but ends up just landing with a plop rather than a bang.
On top of that, there really are no likable characters or even ones with motivation that is worth investing in. Rick Irwin and his Rick Springfield hair play a complete selfish asshole in Garrett. He’s pretty much a moron, treating his devoted girlfriend like shit while fawning all over this mysterious new woman. The best acting of the bunch is from Michaela Sprague, but her character is so spineless that she is hard to like as well.
Worse yet, it just isn’t scary. Sure there are some jarring scene to scene transitions, but that only gives you an uneasy feel rather than any sense of horror. A red balloon is often floating in screen ominously and feels like a shameless rip off from IT, where, even in that blockbuster film, the red floating balloon failed to be scary.
Wells is going for an ominous THE SHINING vibe with THE LURING, leaving much unexplained. The problem is that the story is so scattershot and the characters are so deplorable that I didn’t really care if the mysteries were explained or not. This could be some kind of work of genius that is beyond my level of intelligence. But I don’t think so.
I think, more accurately, THE LURING is just a bad film you’d do well to pass on.
Unless you like trainwrecks.