Reviews | Written by Ben Bradley 04/09/2021

LAIR [FrightFest 2021 Digital]

Ben (Oded Fehr) is in prison for murdering his wife and daughter. His lawyer (Alexandra Gilbreath) is convinced his colleague, Steven (Corey Johnson), has some culpability since he gave him an item that was allegedly possessed. She believes this got into his head and caused his mind to become warped. Seeing an opportunity to make money and possibly provide some credence to Ben’s story, Steven decides to rent out an apartment and rig it up to monitor a family’s reaction to various ‘cursed’ items. In town for a break, Carly (Alana Wallace) and Maria (Aislinn De'Ath) and her daughters Joey (Anya Newall) and Lilly (Lara Mount) are the subjects of his experiment. However, after a few nights, Steven becomes convinced that something supernatural is truly going on.

With the interesting but familiar premise of a possession causing a massacre, Lair doesn’t waste time getting into the absurdness of someone rigging up an apartment with cameras and security protocols. While Steven becomes a creepy voyeur, the family are dealing with their own issues, which provides a tension of its own. The sudden shift to the evil goings-on is too predictable and how it’s dealt with following a slaughter is entirely unbelievable.

Lair is most effective in the scenes in which the family are (almost literally) tearing themselves apart. The four females - even the kids! - provide the best performances too. Corey Johnson is saddled with some awful dialogue and doesn’t really redeem himself with what he can offer acting-wise either.

Writer/director Adam Ethan Crow has some good ideas here that are not fully realised but he manages to conjure a few good scares along the way. On the plus side, it looks fabulous thanks to Stuart White's cinematography and there are some genuinely creepy moments.