The Film (4.5/5)
Adrienne finally gets a spot with the cool kids by offering her dad's cabin (in the woods) to her friends: sporty Jamie (Elise Gatien) obnoxious guy Johnnie, (Alexander Calvert) ditzy Heather (Lanie McAuley), tough chick Marilyn (Eve Harlow), fat guy Tobe (Jesse Camacho) and token black dude Wesley (Stephan James) to party instead of attending a school dance. Adrienne has the hots for cool football dude Sean (Justin Kelly) and jumps at the opportunity to get closer to him. They steal a bus and head out for good times before it breaks down and they are forced to wander the countryside looking for help. Skull cracking principal Mr. Cunningham (Robert Patrick- T2) sees the gang steal the bus and goes to Adrienne's dad for help in tracking down our wayward ne'er do wells.
Tobe and Marilyn run across the old Joad place and go back to get the kids. Classic mistake. It turns out that the house isn't quite as abandoned as it looked as crazed killer and cannibal Junior Joad lives there and doesn't take too kindly to the kids' intrusion and begins killing folks in a time tested slasher film manner. Will Dad and Mr. C find them in time? Will Adrienne find a spark with Sean? Will the fat dude get with a hot chick?
Canada gave us some of the best classic slashers from Prom Night to Happy Birthday To Me to My Bloody Valentine. With Lost After Dark Director Ian Kessner has tried to replicate the early 80's and I believe he's successful. It's not easy to pull off the throwback slasher but Lost After Dark does just that in my opinion, helped along the way by two Italian Horror influenced bits I noticed. Fans of Anthropophagus and the Fulci eye gag will find elements to love here. In fact the cover looks (to me anyway) to be reminiscent of one of the classic House By The Cemetery posters. The kills are good, the blood is flowing, and a good time is had by all. Well, except for the victims.
Anchor Bay presents Lost After Dark on bluray with a 1080p transfer at 1.78:1 aspect ratio. They did some post production work making the film look worn with pops, scratches and debris to achieve a vintage feel. Audio is loud and clear courtesy of a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and English subtitles are included. Between the picture presentation and the audio with subtitles, I find nothing to complain about.
I don't like giving a zero but there are no extras. None. Anchor Bay, you've forced my hand.
I found Lost After Dark to be a very fun throwback slasher film. It's fairly by the numbers (not that there is anything wrong with that) for the most part except for two relatively ballsy tricks it pulls. Several of your tropes are here: teenagers (including: the virgin, the jock, the vapid princess, the tough girl, the sporty girl, obnoxious guy, and the fat guy) car trouble, a crazed killer, a backstory or legend for the killer, and a set up for a sequel. They do a good job of making it feel like the 80's and that can be a hard thing to do. I've seen some throwback slasher reviewers concentrate on trying to spot newer cars or products that are more modern than the time period being portrayed. I don't do that. I look to enjoy a film and things like that don't take me out of a film even if I notice them. Nonetheless I didn't see any things like that here. If you're looking for a good time in the vein of the classic period of slasher films from 1978-1984 I suggest giving Lost After Dark a try. I've got my fingers crossed for a sequel.