Lost After Dark Movie Review

Horror

A proper homage can be a hard thing to accomplish. Usually the end product comes off more as a gimmick, mimicking what we knew and loved than an actual product from that time period. Thankfully, Lost After Dark succeeds for the most part in producing a slasher film that really feels like it could’ve come out in the heyday of the slasher uprising in the early 80s. There are a few slips here and there, but the end product bears a strong resemblance to those cheesy flicks we grew up loving…

PRODUCT INFORMATION

DISCS: 1
RUN-TIME: 92 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1
RESOLUTION: 480i
AUDIO: 5.1 Dolby Digital

LANGUAGE: English

SUBTITLES: English, Spanish
REGION: A
RATING: R
PRODUCTION DATE: 2013
RELEASE DATE: Sept 1st, 2015

Photo Credit: Melissa Connors

 

PLOT SUMMARY

Spring Ball, 1984. Adrienne (Kendra Timmins, Midnight Sun, “Wingin’ It”), a straight-A student, joins her quarterback crush Sean (Justin Kelly, Maps To The Stars, Big Muddy) and some friends in sneaking out of their high school dance for some unsupervised mayhem. The teens’ party plans hit a snag when they run out of gas on a deserted road. They head out on foot and discover a rundown farmhouse where they hope to find help. Instead they find themselves at the mercy of Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe, Sweet Karma), a cannibal killer from an urban legend. After friends, the group’s quest for help becomes one of survival. Will anyone survive the brutal murder of one of their night?

MOVIE

The year is 1984. A group of rowdy teens are up to no good and get stranded at an old abandoned house in the middle of the woods and start getting picked off one by one. Will anyone survive the night, or will they all be lost after dark.
Lost After Dark is exactly what you hope it to be, a cheesy throwback flick from a time when slashers were a dime a dozen. The filmmakers, which I’m proud to say are Canadian, have really outdone themselves on producing a flick that could easily be lumped in with other genre classics. That isn’t to say things are perfect. There are times where the movie can look like any other modern day classic, minus the ease of using cell phones to call for help. Also, at one point in the movie, the makers decide to throw a bit of a Grindhouse homage into the mix and it felt completely unnecessary and takes you out of the film. I also would like to mention that the music just didn’t hit the right mark for me. I think there needed to be a bit more synthesizer to complete the package. There is a bit of a synth type score near the end, but for the most part, the movie sounds too modern for my taste.
Photo Credit: Melissa Connors

 

You will be happy to hear that the film isn’t completely predictable either, as there were a few story choices made that completely shocked me. Also, the film relies for the most part on practical effects, which when you’re doing an 80s homage, it damn well better. However, there are times where CGI was used and I got to say, I’m disappointed to see that. If you’re really going go all out with the 80s look, you better not throw in some CGI work in the mix, or if you are, make it look godawful like the movies did back then. Thankfully, the kills are mostly practical and plenty gory. Last little ding to the films armor that I want to mention, is the lack of nudity. I mean come on! This is supposed to be the 80s, a time of bare flesh. Give me some boobies dammit!
Photo Credit: Matt Seguin

 

It might not be boobies, but at least we get to see Robert Patrick, who has a small role in the film as the Vice-Principal and retired badass soldier.

DVD

Anchor Bay Canada has released Lost After Dark on both Blu-ray and DVD. Unfortunately, I was only able to get my hands on the DVD, so I have no idea how good the Blu-ray looks. The DVD, on the other hand, is not bad. The film is intentionally made to look aged, so the lower quality of DVD doesn’t take too much away from the overall experience. The audio side of things is served up in Dolby Digital 5.1, with optional English and Spanish subtitles. No issues there.
This is one movie I would love to see some special features on, but sadly the DVD and from what I can tell, the Blu-ray, is lacking in any features. Not even a trailer is included.
Photo Credit: Melissa Connors

 

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

– A big ol’ pile of nothing is included.

VERDICT

As you can tell from my review, Lost After Dark hits most of the right marks to make it a wonderful homage to the 80s slasher craze. There are a few misses, such as music and effects, but the good definitely outweighs the bad with this one. If you’re a fan of the good ol’ days, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this flick. Give it a watch for sure.

RATING

I've been watching horror movies since I was three. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea.

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