Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Year Released: 1999, 2023 Arrow Video Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 30m
Director(s): Jon Steven Ward
Writer(s): Geof Miller, Rory Veal
Cast: Diedre Kilgore, Carter Roy, Brian Allemand, Matt Riedy, Richard Sanders, Riley Smith, Ben Indra, Billy O'Sullivan, Sarah Lancaster, Anna Faris
Where To Watch: Releasing April 25, 2023, available for pre-order now at www.arrowvideo.com or www.mvdshop.com
RAVING REVIEW: Okay, so I had a tough time rating this one, and you’ll see in more detail throughout this review why. Simply put, on the one hand, this was a slasher that was oozing with references from the zeitgeist that it was created from. At the same time, for those who loved the late 90s slasher genre, this will make them feel right at home. LOVERS LANE, an amusing yet cheesy slasher flick, takes the audience in a time machine to the heyday of 90s slashers. Drawing inspiration from the urban legend of "The Hook" and channeling the style of Scream, this tongue-in-cheek film unravels 13 years after a tragic Valentine's Day event.
When local teenagers visit the infamous lovers' lane, they can't shake the chills from the tragedy that occurred there years before. As the next Valentine's Day approaches, the town is set on edge by rumors that "The Hook" has escaped his asylum. A true amalgamation of the films that came before it, there is no mistaking this for anything other than an homage created within the genre's height. The haircuts, clothing choices, and slang used in the film will send anyone in high school during this time spiraling back to that moment.
Anna Faris, known for her roles in the Scary Movie series, makes her film debut in LOVERS LANE. Faris embodies this stereotypical character as a cheerleader and the new girl in town, merging two classic cliches into one role. I can see the roots of her SCARY MOVIE character in this parody of a character played straight in the film.
The film lacks the grisly gore in other slasher films of the time, and I’m sure part of that is due to budgetary concerns, with most of the deaths occurring off-screen. The cast's performances lean toward B-movie quality but with undeniable charm. The adult characters in the film felt intentionally clueless, which kind of made it more fun to root against them.
Suspense builds through the atmospheric, fog-drenched cinematography; many of the film's most potent moments are because of what you don’t see. Although LOVERS LANE isn't groundbreaking, it offers another solid entry that feels right at home in the period. The film's most significant issue is the weaker moments in the script and the characters that become so unlikeable that you have no remorse for their deaths.
To conclude, LOVERS LANE delivers a varied cinematic experience; it provides moments of enjoyment and suspense against a backdrop of clichéd plotlines and lackluster horror moments. LOVERS LANE is still worth watching, though; remember, while this may be a cheesy excursion into familiar slasher territory, it’s a product of its time and still fun for anyone who likes that style of slasher.
- Brand new 2K restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative
- High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
- Two versions of the film: the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version
- Original lossless stereo audio on both versions
- Optional English subtitles for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and hard-of-hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with writer-producers Geof Miller and Rory Veal
- Screaming Teens: The Legacy of Lovers Lane featurette with Geof Miller and Rory Veal and actors Matt Riedy and Carter Roy
- Original trailers
- Image Gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lindsay Hallam and double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
THIS FILM CONTAINS A SEQUENCE OF FLASHING LIGHTS WHICH MIGHT AFFECT CUSTOMERS WHO ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO PHOTOSENSITIVE EPILEPSY
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[photo courtesy of ARROW VIDEO/MVD ENTERTAINMENT]