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Shot down over Afghanistan, RAF Lt. Kate Sinclair (Charlotte Kirk) would take any refuge from pursuing insurgents, including a boarded-up Soviet bunker. Unfortunately, the firefight within manages to awaken the long-dormant and very hungry products of ungodly experimentation-and the escaping Sinclair has to turn to the remaining soldiers at a nearby base to combat the creatures gone rampant. Jamie Bamber, Jonathan Howard, Kibong Tanji, Leon Ockenden also star.

What We Thought:

The Lair has its pros and cons. I’ll be positive and start with the things I liked about the film first.

I honestly like the concept of it a lot. A British pilot is shot down and hides in an old Soviet bunker in Afghanistan where she discovers some creepy stuff that’s been down there for decades. That’s cool in my book. Films that go in a different direction with realistic environments can be good to me. Overlord certainly comes to mind. Afghanistan was once Soviet territory so Soviet experiments would certainly have taken place back then. Using the current situation in the country as your basis is smart because it’s been at war for decades. It’s a perfect backdrop.

This film’s director is Neil Marshall who made the criminally underrated The Descent. The man can make an intense film in a small area and the scenes that take place in the lair are very good. Some of his action scenes above ground aren’t great (I’ll get to that in a moment), but the closed in scenes with monsters, insurgents and others are very good.

Then there are the monsters. They look great. There’s some solid practical effects with them which I always appreciate. Sure there is CGI in the film, but I liked the look of the monsters a lot and they are a good hybrid of creatures.

Unfortunately the acting isn’t great nor is the war parts. There are a couple of names I recognize, but this isn’t a big theatrical release for a reason. Jamie Bamber plays a stereotypical man in charge type. Other characters whether British or American are also pretty one dimensional tough guy or stereotypical types. They are clearly actors playing soldiers who didn’t go through any war movie training before filming.

The war scenes aren’t that good either. These are supposed to be trained killing machines yet most can barely shoot straight and are easily taken over by the monsters. Yes the monsters should be more dominant, but some of the characters seemed to be special forces type and none of them acted that way.

For a made-for-TV/streaming/video type film The Lair is at least watchable. The creatures definitely are the highlight. I wanted more with the creatures and less about the soldiers especially since none of them really stood out. The lead actress is ok I guess and you do want to see her make it out alive, but the film has such a great concept I wish it was a better movie. The idea of the story is worth a better and bigger production.

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