Slasher films set in a high school are a lot like people wearing pajamas to Walmart. Both are a bit too ubiquitous for my taste, but both offer the opportunity to delight and surprise or merely disappoint and make me ask, “Why?”. Sadly, when it comes to The Lurker, a decades old, thread bare tee with holes and sweat pants that give away a little too much information is what you’ll find. No unicorn onesies to be seen here.
Starring Scout Taylor-Compton as Taylor, she is the star of her high school production of Romeo and Juliet and she has a secret. Not sure how much of a secret it is, though, since they reveal it in the trailer. Essentially, she isn’t the sweet girl she wants us to think she is. Her friends catch her doing something scandalous and then they pull a prank on her. Or rather, they do something that is well beyond a mere prank and could certainly put someone in jail. Or, at least, I hope someone would go to jail for what they do to Taylor. The level of friendship on display in the movie is questionable, but not as questionable as how this movie scored the actors that it did. Taylor-Compton has a genre fanbase for her work in the Rob Zombie Halloween films and her mother in The Lurker is played by Domenica Cameron-Scorcesse. With a cameo from a beloved American Horror Story alum in the cold open, all signs point to The Lurker being a well acted, low budget indie thriller.
Ultimately, The Lurker is a bit of a drag (even at 80 minutes) that has a glimpse of solid effects work and not much else. The reveal is hardly shocking, nor does it make a lot of sense if you really start to break it down. None of the characters inspire any kind of sympathy so it’s no loss when they start being picked off. At times, I began to wonder if the film was intended as a comedy, but then realized I was being too generous. I was simply easily swayed by that chainsaw on the movie poster: it promised so much and then, sadly, only made a very brief appearance. The Lurker is for really serious hardcore slasher fans only. And only so they can confidently say that they have seen every slash.
The Lurker is on Digital & DVD now.
Images: Indican Pictures