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The Luring - Movie Review

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The Luring

“A little more open.  A little more closed.  Perfect!”  Those are the instructions from a young boy whose parents are serious about buying a summer home as they attempt to close the door for his long overdue nap.  The house they are looking at is perfect for what they need . . . but the small summer house has an unfortunate history involving the death of a child.

"The whole thing is a head scratcher and not in a challenging way."

And it happened in the room they just left their son in.  Uh-oh.  

The Luring doesn’t take very long to creep its audience out.  A tragedy immediately snaps us to attention as a little boy is soon swinging from a noose.  What the hell?!  Red balloons, a creepy toy truck, and a creepy old man (Dan Berkey)!  Already we are in over our heads as writer/director Christopher Wells dares us to look away in The Luring.  Unfortunately, that's where the charm of this independent film begins and ends.

Because, as that chapter closes, we settle into the disappointing story of Garrett (Rick Irwin) returning to the scene of a disturbance which has caused him to not remember his childhood.  It’s a giant misstep which dooms the rest of this thriller.  Frustrating.  Dumb.  And just not worth any investment, the story of a spoiled rich dude just misses the mark, erasing what worked so perfectly in the opening few moments of the movie. 

Garrett is returning to the summer home of his youth.  Well, he’s back to try to uncover a lost memory that happened on his 10th birthday.  He’s not the little boy from the beginning (and we fail to see the connecting threads later on, too), but remembers none of that led to his own unfortunate tragedy.    

So he’s returning to the house in Vermont with his girlfriend, Claire (Michaela Sprague), and Jennifer (Molly Fahey), a mysterious woman who Garrett met through social media (or is she all his mind?), has followed him for a sweet, sweet late night rendezvous.  Garrett, spoiled and rich, is an asshole to Claire, and he talks to the man who was selling the house at the beginning of the movie about leaving her.  

Back to the present and Garrett continues to be an asshole to his girlfriend, masturbating in another room to his secret lover, while Claire (surprise, surprise) masturbates upstairs in their bedroom.  Truly, nothing beats the opening in this film, which is unfortunate because there’s a seed of a good idea here, but this one just grows and grows in disappointment as we wander aimlessly from an antique store to a bowling alley as Garrett rambles on about living in New York because he’s spoiled.  The Luring

If this all sounds confusing, it is because the multiple storylines involving the house, kids, and a red balloon which lures kids to their doom (lawsuit much?) never really connects cohesively to make a satisfying story.  The whole thing is a head scratcher and not in a challenging way.  Trust me, your patience will short out before you reach the end of the flick.

For me, the total and exhaustive checkout moment is a flashback when Garrett, as a kid, is having a birthday party and he sits on the chair in front of all the other kids like a prince on a throne, screaming about his special day.  Talk about an unlikable character.  He doesn’t get ANY better as an adult either, so when he is strangled, you are practically cheering.  

The Luring, available on digital and DVD June 16 from Wild Eye Releasing, is a psychological thriller that owes its red balloon leanings to someone else.

2/5 stars

The Luring


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The Luring

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
95 mins
: Christopher Wells
Christopher Wells
Molly Fahey, Michaela Sprague, Jake Katzman
: Horror | Thriller
Sometimes We Are Called To The Darkness.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Wild Eye Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 16, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 16, 2020 (DVD)
Synopsis: A man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family's Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child.

The Luring

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