Film Review: The Dark Lurking (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

Something has gone terribly wrong at research station 320, a secret research facility one mile beneath the earth’s surface. All communications are gone, all means of escape destroyed and an extremely dangerous horde of rapidly mutating ancient flesh eating creatures are consuming everything in their path. Eight survivors of the outpost, two research subjects, three mercenaries, two research technicians and a medic barricade themselves inside a remote area of the facility with little food, almost no means of defense and little hope of rescue. Their one possible escape route is through thirteen levels of terror that will lead them to the surface. And one of them is not who they seem to be, but the darkness itself which has taken human form.

REVIEW:

Written & Directed by: Greg Connors
Starring: Tonia Renee, Bret Kennedy, Ozzie Devrish, Dirk Foulger

QUICK FIX:
In the year 2017, a rag-tag group of folks are stranded in a secret underground facility a mile below the surface of the Earth fighting off flesh-eating beasties in an experiment gone very wrong while trying to survive long enough to find a radio to call for help and get back to the surface in one piece. But with hungry critters trying to take a bite out of their asses every step of the way, ammo running low, and treachery, mistrust, and deceit amongst the group taking them two steps back for every step forward, those tasks are easier said than done. Honestly though, the group should know better….when have you ever been able to trust a bald-headed mad scientist in the movies?

RAMBLINGS:
Ah, the old Sci-Fi/Horror hybrid. When it’s done right, like in the case of the ALIEN series (‘cept for part 3) or PITCH BLACK, you’ve got a kickass ride all the way through from start to finish. When it’s done wrong, whether with a huge budget or a miniscule one, you wind up with either every SPECIES sequel since the first one, or your weekly SyFy Channel premiere that’s just begging for the MST3K treatment. But thankfully for us this time, our friends in the land Down Under, where rivers of blood flow and grenades explode like thunder, gave us a really cool low budget action/sci-fi/horror stew known as THE DARK LURKING. It actually has the look and feel of many of our own low budget 80s hybrids ranging from CREEPOZOIDS to GALAXY OF TERROR, only with a real plot, cool effects, and dialogue that doesn’t make you cringe when the actors say it. 

Tonia Renee – man, what is it with me and brunettes lately? Sure, the woman is gorgeous, but she can act too, which always helps in my book. It’s her first feature, but hopefully not her last. And if I have anything to say about it, she’ll stay in horror – we need more beautiful asskickers like her in our movies. Bret Kennedy had what I took to be basically the Michael Biehn role, and he kicked ass – a no-nonsense monster killer in every sense with only one thing on his mind – killing those buggers off and getting everyone out alive!! Ozzie Devrish as his right hand man kicked just as much or more creature ass and Dirk Foulger as Dr. Konieg oozed all sorts of slimy evil. Perfect casting all around!! 

Writer/Director Connors has been a fixture in the Australian industry for quite some time now with many editing, writing, and television directing credits on his resume, as well as a New York International Independent Film & Video Festival award for his 2005 short, NETHERWORLD. Far as I could find, this is his first fully self-done feature film, and he knocked this bitch out of the park. It was obvious that all of his editing experience came in handy putting this thing together. Honestly, his style reminds me of a young Neil Marshall, and we all know that he only got better with each new project. I foresee great things for Greg Connors, and if this is what the guy does with a low budget, I can’t wait to see what’s next. This dude, much like what I said about another Aussie a few years ago, the one and only Greg McLean, is one to watch out for! 

LAST WORDS:
There’s no shortage whatsoever of blood, action, treachery, and whatever else you crave in a movie like this (‘cept for nudity…sorry guys) to keep you interested from start to finish. The set-up is all of five minutes, and sh*t rarely lets up till the last frame. Things are for the most part played very seriously instead of going the campy route, and we as an audience totally benefit from that. I haven’t found anything online of a U.S. release date either theatrically or on DVD, but this is one you’ll want to keep searching for and snag when it hits shelves (or your local mall). Picture the trigger-happy Marines of ALIENS having a showdown with the bloodlust-fueled demons of EVIL DEAD 2 and the pace of a meth-head on day two of a week long bender, and you’ve got a one hell of a ride. For the first time in years, the Sci-Fi/Horror flick is truly back with a vengeance…FUCK YEAH!!!!

The Dark Lurking (2008)

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