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Laurence Fishburne, Thomas Jane Thriller ‘Standoff’ Bought by Saban for U.S.

Saban Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Laurence Fishburne-Thomas Jane thriller “Standoff” and plans a first-quarter release.

 

“Standoff,” written and directed by Adam Alleca, centers on a troubled veteran — portrayed by Jane — who gets a chance at redemption by protecting a 12 year-old girl from a vicious assassin (Fishburne) after she witnesses a murder. Holding a shotgun with a single shell, he engages in physical and psychological warfare in a desperate fight for the girl’s life.

 

“Standoff” was produced by Tove Christensen, Lee Clay, Eric Gozlan and Michael Wexler. Executive producers include George Castrounis, Hayden Christensen and Richard Iott. The film was co-produced by Rosie Komandina.

 

Bill Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films with Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.

 

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Reel Review: “Lost After Dark”

Homages are hard to pull off. It’s a fine line between loving reverence and blatant plagiarism. Lost After Dark (2015) pays tribute to classic slasher films of the 80s, and it’s likely to be a highly polarizing film that splits horror fans into clear love it or hate it camps. True blue fans of the subgenre are likely to bask in the glow of sweet nostalgia, looking fondly on the purposefully cliché horror tropes and character stereotypes. Others will criticize the film for being a standard fare rip-off of second-rate slasher films.

 

Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment, Lost After Dark marks the directorial debut of writer/director Ian Kessner and is co-written by Bo Ransdell. The film follows a group of teenagers who sneak out of a high school dance to party at a friend’s cabin. Along the way, their ride predictably breaks down and strands them near an excessively creepy and foreboding abandoned farmhouse. It’s no mystery what happens next.

 

It’s a threadbare plot, laced with frustrating and deliberate plot points designed with no other intent than to place a bevvy of high school archetypes into the path of a deranged, backwoods, cannibal killer. While this may turn-off many horror fans, it’s clear this by-the-numbers approach is intentional. The movie is not without the clever twist and turn along the way. However, the story itself is irrelevant. What matters is the thrill of the chase and the anticipation of seeing the next creative kill. In this respect, it knows exactly the kind of film it wants to be and delivers a spot-on echo of a decade dominated by highly predictable but immensely entertaining slashers.

 

Lost After Dark features Robert Patrick, Eve Harlow, Stephan James, Jesse Camacho, Elise Gatien, Alexander Calvert, Lanie McAuley, and David Lipper, as well as fun cameos from Sarah Fisher (Degrassi: The Next Generation) and Rick Rosenthal (Director of Halloween II & Halloween: Resurrection). The cast does a stellar job at playing their familiar archetypes: the innocent virgin, the wild child, the popular girl and her douchebag jock boyfriend, the overweight nerdy friend, etc.

 

Genre fans may also appreciate the nod to horror greats through creative character naming. We get Laurie (Strode), Adrienne (Barbeau), Jamie (Lee Curtis), Sean (Cunningham), Wes (Craven), Marilyn (Burns), Heather (Langenkamp) and John (Carpenter).

 

The film moves at a frenetic pace, rushing along from kill to kill. We get a healthy does of visceral, old-school prosthetic kills that are fun to watch. This may have been designed and marketed as a clever homage to campy films of the 80s slasher heyday, but Ransdell and Kessner also deliver an intense and graphic straight-faced horror movie. Lost After Dark may disappoint hardcore gore fans, however, as the kills are brutal but mostly bloodless.

 

Visually, the movie works hard to feel like a movie shot in the 80s, complete with scratchy and grainy spots. There’s even a “missing reel” spot before one of the killings that harkens back to the day when projectors would wreak havoc on delicate pieces of film. The 80s illusion isn’t perfect, but it’s still a solid representation of the good ol’ days of the classic hack-n-slash presentation.

 

It’s also beautifully shot, in spite of the retro gimmick, making it an impressive debut for Kessner. He really flexes his filmmaking skills here. The entire film is shot at night, which often results in a frustrating viewing experience in the hands of a less competent director. Not so here. The lighting is superb, and the movie manages to have a charming low-budget appeal with a big-budget, high quality production value.

 

Lost After Dark makes no attempt to be meta in its approach. It’s not making fun of the subgenre, and it’s not attempting to be hip or snarky or overly self-referential. We do get some subtle tongue-in-cheek humor and quite a few references and nods to other films in the genre. But this is not a parody, and there’s no attempt to expose these horror tropes a la Cabin in the Woods orScream. Instead, we get a sincere and straightforward tribute that seems to reflect a true love of retro horror.

 

MORBID MINI

Lost After Dark is a fun watch for fans of retro 80s horror. It’s hard not to appreciate the filmmakers’ sincerity and genuine adoration for the slasher subgenre. We get a well-made and competently acted piece of horror nostalgia. It’s not for everyone, but there’s a lot to love here.

 

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The Slaughtered Bird Review: “Lost After Dark”

Spring Ball, 1984. Adrienne (Kendra Timmins, Midnight Sun, Wingin’ It), a straight-A student, joins her quarterback crush Sean (Justin Kelly, Maps To The Stars, Big Muddy) and some friends in sneaking out of their high school dance for some unsupervised mayhem. The teens’ party plans hit a snag when they run out of gas on a deserted road. They head out on foot and discover a rundown farmhouse where they hope to find help, but instead find themselves at the mercy of Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe, Sweet Karma), a cannibal killer from an urban legend. After the brutal murder of one of their friends, the group s quest for help becomes one of survival. Will anyone survive the night?

 

I am not going to go into any more plot details here because the synopsis above has it covered to had more to it would only ruin the film for those wanting to see it. If you remember and loved slasher movies from the 80’s then you are in for a real treat here. The film is not perfect by any means but I had a lot fun with this throwback to the 80’s. From the music to the clothing I swore I was back in the 80’s once again. There are some great killings but the film doesn’t take itself too serious either so there are some good laughs along the way as well. Robert Patrick is fantastic as the over the top principal of the school. He had me cracking up every time he showed up on screen, I wish he would of had a little more screen time. The rest of the cast all did a terrific job in the film as well.

 

If I had one complaint it would be about the killer. I thought he could have been a little more scary and intimidating looking. Besides that I thought the film had just about everything it needed including lots of cool kills and some good blood and guts as well. So if you are a fan of slasher films then I highly recommend checking this one out. It certainly brings back the 80’s in bloody style.

 

“Lost After Dark” can best be described as good old fashion fun. I hope they do a sequel to this one and perhaps work on a little better killer. Either way this is one of the best 80’s style horror films to come along in some time.

 

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Horror News Network “Lost After Dark” – Review

Rating: 8 out of 10

 

Synopsis: In this clever homage to 80’s slasher films, a group of teenagers looking to party get stranded when their ride breaks down, and end up being stalked by a cannibalistic killer.

 

Our Thoughts: ‘Lost After Dark’ is one of the best homages to the 80’s I’ve ever seen. It captures the spirit of the slashers of the time, and adds it’s only touches with amusing characters.

 

The story starts with a glimpse of a teen being murdered in the 70’s by a mysterious killer. The film then fast-forwards to 1984. A group of kids get together following a dance and head to a cabin for a party, when their bus breaks down near the original murder took place. Meanwhile, the killer had taken his home back from the current resident of the house, creating the worst situation possible for the teens. When they take refuge in the empty house and begin to discover the secrets of the owner, things take a creepy turn.

 

Considering the fact that this is a throw-back slasher, the acting is great. Robert Patrick gives an amusing performance as Mr. C. Elise Gatien gives is outstanding as terrified teen Jamie. From 80’s style music, to big hair, the film captures the styles and charm of the era. The technology limitations of the time are played up with a few seconds of “missing reel”. A good amount of gore, along with a mix of classic style slasher kills with creative new ones, make this horror flick an entertaining way to spend a Saturday night for any horror fan!

 

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