The Luring (2019)

Garrett is trying to recover a lost memory by returning to his family’s vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child. If any of this sounds like a bad idea to you, good news. You are not a character in a horror film.

Psychiatrists call what happened to our hero — such as he is, he’s kind of a jerk — dissociative amnesia, but really, pure evil is loose in this house and it’s about to get back at him. It also shows up as a red balloon that cares about as much as copyright infringement as a 1980s Italian moviemaker.

This is the first full length film from writer, director and producer Christopher Wells.

The film festival poster and the online streaming poster.

What you read above was our original review back on June 10, 2020.

After that ran, the director of the movie reached out and felt that our take on the film “. . . seems vindictive. Like I did something to you or something. I don’t mind anyone disliking my film, but this is different because you just cut and pasted the synopsis and then made a snide remark, like you’re trying to be . . . vindictive.” Since we take our thoughts on film seriously and respect the work of filmmakers, we promised to watch this again. And seeing as how the fine folks at Wild Eye Releasing also sent us the DVD (as well as the online screener; but the director gave it to us prior to that), this gave us another opportunity to watch The Luring and take one more look — on October 11, 2020.

So, here we go!

Garrett lost an important memory at his tenth birthday party and hopes to get it back when he visits his family’s vacation home. His doctors call it dissociative amnesia, but perhaps he doesn’t want to learn what he’s really done. While his girlfriend wants this trip to bring them closer, there’s a chance that this could be the end of them both.

Let me lead with the good. Garrett (Rick Irwin) and Claire (Michaela Sprague) seem like a real couple, one that you wouldn’t want to invite to your party because all they do is fight. You feel for her way more than him, which leads us to the bad.

I don’t feel that every movie needs a trustworthy narrator or a heroic protagonist, but Garrett is such a jerk from moment one that when the major reveal happens, it’s not so much horrifying or shocking as much as it elicits a “Yeah, I can see him doing that.”

There’s also a mystery woman who has lured Garrett back here, a red balloon (to the director’s credit, he claims that he took the idea from The Red Balloon and not Stephen King) and an end scene that stuck with me because it seems like it came out of another film.

A nanny notices the boy she is watching is holding the red balloon. The kid, named Doug, states that he was given the balloon by a man, but there’s no one around. The nanny takes the balloon and Doug goes wild, yelling that the man told her she would do that. He then starts yelling, What time is it, what time is it, what time is it?” According to IMDB: “Another hidden message. The frustrated Nanny yells ‘It’s 2:13! it’s 2:13! it’s 2:13!’ Her life will never be the same. Pure evil doesn’t take pity on her or on Doug. Some say the man was the devil because 2:13 when added up is 6. The Nanny yells that time three times which is 666.”

I have no idea what this has to do with the rest of the film, because the kid ends up getting hit by a car like he wandered in off the set of Pet Semetary.

So, in summation, it feels like there’s some talent here. I still didn’t like the movie — it feels disjointed and there’s a moment where a stilt-walking clown shows up to menace Claire for seemingly no reason. But hey — I haven’t put the time and energy into making this. It wasn’t my passion project. All I have is an opinion and you may watch it and fall in love with it.

Movies are great that way.

You can learn more at the official Facebook page. The Luring is available available on DVD and digital June 16 from Wild Eye Releasing.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie from Wild Eye and that has no impact on our review.

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