Written and Directed by Christopher Wells, The Luring is a solid indie horror that draws inspiration from other classic horror directors in its narrative, musical score, and framing for some key shots. Although my overall take away for The Luring is that it is quite a generic feature, it is at least well made, and the movie really only faltered with some of the acting performances. Mr. Wells weaved an interesting story, to say the least, one that explores the effects of childhood trauma as well as the breakdown of a romantic relationship.
Returning to the family vacation home from his childhood, Garrett (Rick Irwin) brings his girlfriend for a getaway aimed at jogging his buried memories from his adolescence. Their visit quickly takes a turn for the worse as the couple grows further apart when childhood memories begin physically manifesting themselves to both Garrett and his girlfriend, putting the couple on the edge. Their rift becomes deadly as the fissures in Garrett’s mind crack open and cause a psychological break, one that forces him to reckon with his dissociative amnesia.
The cold opening that kicks off this story may be too heartbreaking of a watch for the faint of heart, it sets the mood for this psychological horror that spans from childhood to adulthood — lovers of the Itfranchise should be at least mildly pleased, or perhaps will be infuriated by the frequent reminders of It. There is a fine line between homage and looking over the shoulder of another artist, and I would say that, that line is toed pretty hard in The Luring. There is everything from a clown, to a supernatural child killer, to a red balloon, to the male in the relationship suffering a psychological break that takes him on a murderous rampage, not to mention his annoyance with his current relationship and his attraction to fellow murderous women. Actually, the more I think about it, the line may just have been crossed in The Luring, but that is not to say that the story is a complete remake of any Stephen King adapted movies, however, it obviously relies upon and borrows heavily from his works.
It is sad to say that the child actor who most needed to pull off his performance was unbelievable, and sadly as a result, I felt that the explanation for his character’s actions were not completely expressed to the audience. Introducing this kid also confused the storyline, as the movie seemed like it was going for a supernatural child killer being the reason behind killings, but the two being killers created warring causes of the killings. The movie also faltered during the first 30 minutes following the cold opening, this segment was a complete lull in the story as it was only used to establish the setting and was full of boring, expositional dialogue. After the first third though, the movie definitely picks up with drama and horror, and only suffered during the flashbacks and the few times where the plot got messy trying to add too many things, namely, the introduction of a random clown.
The Luring is held together by its production value, its narrative that grew in appeal and intrigue as the movie pressed on, and an engaging performance from Rick Irwin as Garrett, who played a sort of a Jack Torrance of The Shining character but made it his own. He was tasked with doing some weird things for the movie, like being sexually aroused by a scented letter, but it was all to build up the psychological aspect of the film, which I think a great deal of effort was put in to show — it paid off for about two-thirds of the film. From Wild Eye Releasing (The Door In The Woods, Plaguers), The Luring released to DVD and digital platforms on June 16th.
Adrienne Reese is a fan of movies - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and came to the horror genre by way of getting over her fear of... everything. Adrienne also writes for the Frida Cinema, and in addition to film enjoys cooking, Minesweeper, and binge-watching Game of Thrones.