Over this past weekend, January 25th-27th, I got to see some great movies at Panic Fest Film Festival in Kansas City, MO. This was not my first time at Panic Fest, and I came prepared, because I know these guys like to and know how to party. Over the weekend, I saw eight feature length films, a block of shorts, a live podcast recording, a live reading of the Jason Takes Manhattan script, and one world premiere feature film. I will be doing a post about the shorts and the live shows and a separate post about the eight feature films. Here, I want to take the time to talk about the world premiere of the film THE LURING.
THE LURING is the feature film debut from director Christopher Wells. He and lead actor, Rick Irwin (who horror fans will remember from THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING), were in attendance for the screening. THE LURING follows Garrett, played by Irwin, who returns to his family’s vacation home in Vermont. He hasn’t been there since a traumatic incident that he has no memory of took place on his tenth birthday.
While THE LURING is definitely a dramatic horror film, it does have a running thread of dark humor underneath the surface. When I spoke to Christopher and Rick, they told me that was very intentional. Christopher said he had a very weird sense of humor, and he wanted to put that into the film. He wanted the audience to feel uncomfortable in scenes, and laughing is a good release for those feeling uncomfortable. Rick mentioned that in order for him to sell both Garrett’s madness and the humor in the scene, he had to play those scenes completely straight.
THE LURING is all about watching Garrett’s downward spiral. Upon trying to piece together his past, he is taken by a strange beauty that comes to him at night trying to seduce him. This would all fine and dandy if he wasn’t with his loving girlfriend. The deeper he delves into his past with the strange seductress, he becomes crueler and more violent with his girlfriend.
Obviously, the title refers to Garrett’s luring to the side of evil, but the title seems to also allude to more than just our main character’s luring to the dark side. When I asked Christopher about this, he mentioned that, to him, the title means a luring to a more general evil that’s everywhere, one that can happen to any of us, and not just Garrett’s specific taking.
I asked Rick if it was difficult to switch on the evil when it was time to. He said it was, but it was part of the process. He mentioned that one just has to try to be able to switch it off when not filming. Rick got to know the character of Garrett a little bit because this production had the benefit of having rehearsal time for the actors.
I had a really great time chatting with Christopher and Rick about the making of the film, but I also enjoyed the film as well. I think THE LURING is something horror fans can really sink their teeth into. Without getting into too spoiler-y of territory, I think the film is something different that will take audiences by surprise. There’s some great performances from the leads in the film, and the edge of humor in the film really makes the movie feel like a roller-coaster. When THE LURING makes it into your town, be sure to check it out.