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Directed by Ian Kessner

A group of students plan to sneak away for the weekend and stay at fellow student Adrienne’s cabin in the woods. Stealing a school bus whilst at their school’s prom, they head for the cabin but never reach it as the bus breaks down on the road. Finding an old dilapidated house nearby, the students decide to search the building for supplies and fuel but to their horror, they discover evidence that the previous occupant had a cannibalistic nature and to make matters worse, he never left…

Teen horror flick LOST AFTER DARK is an homage to the slashers of the 70’s and 80’s with everything from its style to execution. With its lead characters looking every bit the stereotype from jock to rocker and little Miss innocent, each of the students have their own role decided for them. Lead character Adrienne is the goody two-shoes who’s father is overprotective of her. She has her heart reserved for jock Sean but is unsure whether the feeling is mutual or whether he’s just interested in her because of her dad’s cabin. You’ve also got the chunky character Tobe who really fancies rock chick Marilyn (a nod to Marilyn Burns maybe?) but she’s a young woman who seems more interested in Tobe’s supply of weed rather than getting intimate with him. Tobe’s also got a rival in the form of Wesley who’s style and music appreciation seems to appeal to Marilyn more though, as a man who likes to keep his options open, he seems quite keen on athletic Jamie who’s performance on the running track at school has grabbed his attention. Lastly there’s the smarmy couple Johnnie and Heather who’s public displays of affection and sarcastic put-downs to their so-called friends leaves them as the unlikable pair of the group.

After establishing the characters with some banter between them on the hotwired school bus, the horror element is soon brought into play. At first it plays out how I would expect, the way we’ve seen horrors unfold a million times before. With a less than spectacular script, I wasn’t expecting anything special but LOST AFTER DARK does have its surprises that I will hold my hands up and say shocked and impressed me. It brings a dose of freshness to the film whilst sticking true to slasher roots with deaths that will awaken the horror hound in you. There’s even a sprinkle of humour throughout the film, often leading up to the death scenes. Whilst these grisly executions must be applauded, the rest of the film doesn’t have enough to pack a punch or raise its head above the water enough to be recognised despite including our favourite T-1000 Robert Patrick, as the Vietnam veteran school principal, Mr C, and lavinshing the footage with pops, burns, crackles and missing reels to mimic the grindhouse movies of years gone by.

LOST AFTER DARK is a nice idea but it doesn’t offer anything original enough to standalone as its own movie, something which Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon managed to do.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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About Bat 4344 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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