The Lair (2022)
November 8, 2022 8:19 PM - Subscribe

Royal Air Force pilot Lt. Kate Sinclair is on her final flight mission when her jet is shot down over one of the most dangerous rebel strongholds in Afghanistan. She finds refuge in an abandoned underground bunker where deadly man-made creatures known as Ravagers--half-human, half-alien, and hungry for human flesh--are awakened.

Starring Charlotte Kirk, Jonathan Howard, Jamie Bamber, and various other unfortunate actors whose agents owe them an apology.

Written and directed by Neil Marshall, who made The Descent. No, I don't know what happened to him, either.

40% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental on various outlets in the US, but I am begging you not to spend a nickel on this. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This movie is jaw-dropping, because just when you're distracted enough by monster FX to briefly forget how racist the script is about its Afghani characters, they make the Black character a stupid kleptomaniac, the Welshman a goofy cartoon, and on and on. Marshall doesn't bother with giving any nuance, realism, or likeability to any character. The first time the devout, dignified Afghani prisoner drops a shockingly confident F-bomb is corny enough, but they kist keep going there, like a twelve year old trying to get a second laugh by repeating the same joke.

I've read stuff online where Marshall claims this is all intentional and he was fully meaning to write a big dumb broad 90's style action movie. Thing is, I also listen to podcasts though where people saw this at festivals much earlier and he was apparently introducing this as a return to Descent/Dog Soldiers days. So I'm not sure I buy him saying this is corny on purpose.

And the accents! The American accents play like they were self-taught from phonetic transcriptions, never having seen or met an American. The main Army guy sounds like he caught the second half of one of Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln commercials a few years ago, remembered him hitting a long "O" sound really hard and decided he'd base the entire character on that.

And the script is no better! When the redneck guy says, in his cornball accent "I'm guessing that locket didn't come from a Christmas cracker..." it's wild that no one on set was there to tell Marshall that Americans don't generally know what the fuck those even are.

And Charlotte Kirk... Look Neil... the reason Milla Jovovich does so well fronting her husband's pulpy sci-fi is because she's a charismatic enough actor to sell that mess and keep audiences rooting for her. Kirk is... kinda wooden, tbh.

These things are especially disheartening because it generally still looks like a Neil Marshall jam. The bad script and wobbly actors might be less grating if this was an Albert Pyun film from like 1991. But this is the director who staged the battle of Blackwater on Game of Thrones. Him being all fluid and dynamic while hack actors stumble through a garbage screenplay only makes it worse.

And holy shit, I know I said how bad the American accents are, but wow. Don't they see American films in the UK? How can they think they sound American? Good gawd.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thank you for your service, DirtyOldTown. Your sacrifices for our viewing pleasure will never be forgotten.

posted by Saxon Kane at 9:28 PM on November 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

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