Visuals / Camera
Pacing / Editing
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere
Lost After Dark Was Just A Bit "Lost".
Lost After Dark is a throwback horror movie to the 80's era. A group of partying teenagers steal a bus and it breaks down in the middle of no where. Little do they know that there is a cannibalistic killer on the loose that they are about to meet.
Typical plot here with this one. A group of teenagers decide they are going to steal a school bus and go on a joy ride! But of course the bus breaks down, now we couldn’t have it any other way now could we? Eventually, these kids of course end up at some creepy broken down house. Little do they know they’re about to be stalked by some crazy cannibalistic killer!
Heads are gonna roll!
This film was released August 21, 2015 and was directed by Ian Kessner, which he also helped to write.
I stumbled across this film at my local retail store just this past weekend. I was on the hunt for some movies, particularly something different to watch for this Halloween season. The cover art for Lost After Dark caught my eye. I said to myself, this reminds me a little bit of those old 80’s VHS covers you would see on a lot of horror movies back then. So with that thought, I reached up to snatch it off the shelf so I could take a read of the back cover to find out what this is about. Before I flipped it over, some text caught my eye, it read, “And you thought the 80’s were dead”. In the lower corner it read, “Retro 80’s horror done right”. So of course my interest was now definitely piqued. I flip over the case to read what it was all about. Sounded like it could be your typical 80’s style horror plot. Knowing myself and how skeptical I am of these types of “attempts” to bring back those 80 style horror films… I decided to bite and I bought it.
Saturday night, we pop it in and start watching.
One of the things I noticed right off the bat was the look and feel of the film. It was definitely 80’sish, it appeared the makers tried to take care in providing an 80’s atmosphere for viewers. I have seen many attempts at this in the past with other movies attempting the same thing, those films STILL looked way to polished to pull off that 80’s retro feel. Lost After Dark seemed to pull this off just a bit better in my opinion.
As for the cast and characters go, I was not that impressed. I can usually find myself sympathizing with at least one character in these types of films, and it was just not happening here. I didn’t even really feel any chemistry between the cast members either. Usually you have that ONE girl (typically) in these horror movies that you have that “rooting” spirit for, it just wasn’t there. Which was unfortunate. And to be fair here, if this film had actually been made back in the 1980’s…. I would of written the same thing.
Now on to my thoughts about the killer……
You can definitely see that this killer was molded after those from the late 70’s into the 80’s. I felt like this killer was just a bit over molded though, if you know what I mean. I think while the makers wanted a good retro throwback with this film, that they over done it in some areas, which in my opinion only hurt the movie… example the killer….. instead of taking on this role and making it his own, giving it his own presence and so on… I felt I was watching more of a mimicking of all of the horror icons we know and love from the 80’s. For me, that is always a drawback. I want to see actors give these “killer” roles their own personality, not some one elses.
I get that it is a throwback to the 80’s…. but in my opinion, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t make the character your own, while tipping your hat to the late greats. I just feel that with these types of films, good opportunities get lost.
With that being said… the movie had some good moments. It was nice to watch a movie that wasn’t dominated by cheap jump scares for once. There was definitely some 80’s style scares in this film and that was nice to see. I won’t say what, as I don’t want to ruin the movie for someone that has not seen it yet.
However, there were things missing, one of those things being “tension”. I always loved the tension that a lot of those old movies from the 70’s and 80’s provided. The big build up, the climatic endings. I just didn’t feel any of that was here in Lost After Dark. I feel the makers got so caught up in making sure that some layers of this throwback film was there for viewers, but letting other important layers slip away and it cost them. You can be original all the while tipping your hat off to the 80’s era without mimicking it. If you truly know what worked back in that era, by all means use it… but you should make it original.
It’s times like this when I wish I could make my own throwback film to the 70’s and 80’s and just show people what I mean. A lot easier to show, then to try and describe it sometimes.
Not to much to say here really, other than it wasn’t to bad for what they were trying to portray here. Nothing really catchy in my opinion. There was a tune playing while they were all on the bus that wasn’t to bad. Not sure what the name of it was, but one of the guys shut it off and played another tape…. rap. Completely ruined the scene for me, lol. I mean, I have no problem with rap, I like some rap music… but that just wasn’t the time or place for it, lol.
No catchy killer theme here either.
For the most part, the film wasn’t a complete flop and I would recommend others out there to give it a watch. I think the movie will be more successful among those that are younger, as they won’t really have the same expectations as some of us old school fans.
As I tried to convey… the film doesn’t completely suck or anything, it is just lacking in a lot of areas. But I do give it props for it’s attempt at taking us back to the look and feel of the 80’s era.
Definitely NOT sequel worthy, even though it appeared to be setting up for one… OR they were just mimicking the era once more as it birthed tons of sequels. Either way, this should not have a sequel.
While the gang is on the bus, one of the guys switches out cassette tapes and puts in a rap tape. But what he actually puts in is, Mr. Big’s “Lean Into It.” This is a rock album, and even if the guy recorded over it with rap music…. Lean Into It didn’t come out until 1991, about 7 years after this movie was supposed to take place in.