Neil Marshall has made some wild films such as Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Centurion, and on the other end of that spectrum directed the remake of Hellboy. So history would show, at minimum the movie is going to be absolutely wild and chaotic and have some really nice set pieces, and at best it’s going to be all that and well executed. The Lair falls somewhere in between that spectrum as it is undeniably gory, insane, absolutely monstrous and has some amazing kills, but the performances are riddled with some of the most laugh out loud absurd B-acting ever produced on screen. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Neil Marshall set out to make a genre film that is going to be loved, and he absolutely accomplished that. Is it going to be well received by the general public, probably not, but as a downright dumb fun monster action genre piece, you better believe it is an absolute blast.
The film focuses on Sinclair played by Charlotte Kirk who also co-wrote the script with Marshall, as she is a Royal Air Force pilot whose shot down over Afghanistan, and after killing some of the men who shot her down she retreats into what is presumably an abandoned Russian bunker. However, she is followed into the bunker, and on a fight for her life discovers a secret that should have been kept buried long ago. She inevitably escapes the unspeakable horrors that lay within the bunker and finds herself discovered by a gang of army rejects consisting of Hook played by Jonathan Howard, Lafayette played by Kibong Tanji, Jones played by Leon Ockenden, Wilks played Mark Strepan all lead by their commanding officer Finch played by Jamie Bamber. They manage to also capture one of the men who was responsible for shooting down Sinclair, Kabir played by Hadi Khanjanpour. While they’re hiding out on base, the creatures have somehow followed Sinclair back to base, and the chaos starts to unfold and the fight for survival is underway.
The action in The Lair is truly topnotch, it is absolute pandemonium of non-stop bloodshed and mayhem that absolutely delivers on that promise. The flesh ripping, bone snapping, alien killing mayhem that anyone and everyone whose watching this is expecting is out on complete full force chaos and it is magnificent. Arguably, the mayhem of the bone chilling action is the best part of the entire film. However, the performances must be addressed. I don’t believe anyone in the cast is truly as laughable as their performances suggest, but rather Kirk and Marshall asked them to deliver lines in a manor that is so absurd, over the top, and ridiculous it would have audiences up roaring with laughter, and if that is the case it is certainly achieved. Considering Kirk also co-wrote the script and is the lead, it certainly feels that way and I personally thank them for that. They knew what they were making, a fun dumb action movie with creatures and chaos. It doesn’t need to be taken seriously, nor should it be taken seriously. Let the actors have fun with their roles, deliver some absolute meme worthy moments and in turn create a creature movie that is going to have a passionate following and create rowdy screenings that will enthuse audiences for decades to come.