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Review: Lurking Fear (1994)

FullMoon-lurkingfear-Full-Image-en-USIt’s funny, as much as I’m a horror fan and have been watching horror movies since I was a child, there are still some titles that I haven’t seen or even heard of. Lurking Fear is one of those movies. When I received my screener from Full Moon I honestly thought Lurking Fear was a recent title that was styled to look like it belonged to the late 80’s or early 90’s. Honestly, some of my appreciate for it died when I learned the truth, but it didn’t mean I suddenly lost interest in the film all together. So, here’s my positive review of 1994’s Lurking Fear.

Lurking Fear is written and directed by C. Courtney Joyner based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. Joyner is, of course, also known for Trancers III and Tomb of Terror. Cast members include Jon Finch (The Horror of Frankenstein, The Vampire Lovers), Blake Adams (The Killer Eye, Siren’s Kiss), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser, Hellraiser II), Jeffrey Combs (Frightmare, From Beyond), Allison Mackie (Apollo 13, Memorial Day), Vincent Schiavelli (Batman Returns, Tomorrow Never Dies), Joseph Leavengood, Michael Todd (The Dead Next Door, Puppet Master II), Cristina Stoica, Luana Stoica, Adrian Pintea and Ilinca Goia.

The town of Leffert’s Corners has been plagued by unearthly beings for decades, and now there is only a few people left, including the local priest and a woman traumatised by the death of her sister. But when John Martense turns up to claim his illicit family fortune, with bad guys in pursuit, the last stand had become a lot more complicated…. What everyone is not aware of are the humanoid creatures lurking underneath the holy grounds!

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What’s interesting about Lurking Fear is that it’s a great combination of supernatural-horror and action, genre bending and mixing being something the 80’s and 90’s were particularly good at. I would say in this case, however, that the horror takes a back seat to the action-drama until the very end of the movie. Personally, I’ve never seen the allure of Lovecraft, so adding in gun slinging, fighting and a lot of snappy arguing was a fun distraction from subject material I’m not too big a fan of. I think a lot of people are going to dig this, too, but I’m well aware that the majority of you have already seen this movie! And if you have, I’m positive you remember the amazing mud wrestling scene between the two women near the end.

I’m pretty sure that Lurking Fear is one of the better titles on the Full Moon Productions line-up, especially when examining current titles in production and initial release. This is for two reasons: a higher production value and pretty decent acting. For a horror-thriller that was made independently in the early 90’s, Lurking Fear is pretty spot on and cohesive. The action choreography and stuntwork is top notch. The acting is way better than I expected and I’m impartial to strong female characters. The gore, my favorite aspect of the movie, was amazing and performed through the use of practical effects and that really brought me back to a better time. A part of me wishes horror films were still made like this today. Very well rounded from a cinematic standpoint.

My only criticisms lie in the laughable sound effects added to certain scenes and most of the movie taking place in one room was a little boring.

Lurking Fear took me back to a time when horror rained supreme, when titles like Pet Semetary, Pumpkinhead and Tales from the Crypt reined supreme. Rounds of action, great acting and an awesome final villain, Lurking Fear is nothing short of fun. I’m glad that Full Moon is re-releasing this title to Blu-ray on June 15th. Make sure you check it out. Final Score: 7 out of 10.

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Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)