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‘Lantern’s Lane’ review: Horror movie is like an insurance commercial – just without the creativity

Some legends are better left untold.

Lantern’s Lane is a lot like that insurance commercial that makes fun of horror movies. Layla (Brooke Butler) returns to the small town she grew up in. When her friends coerce her into investigating an “urban legend”, they find themselves in a fight for their lives. It does not take long to figure out this film is going to be a rough watch. The first few moments of Lantern’s Lane sees laughably bad acting, annoying characters, and bad dialogue. It is clear the horror will have to save things.

Unfortunately, it does not work. It takes a while for Lantern’s Lane to deliver the scares. The Big Bad is not introduced for almost an hour. Before then, the audience has to put up with the passive aggressive group constantly sniping at each other. Horror is known for its nonsensical characters, but this movie also makes them completely unlikable.  It is a chore spending time with them. 

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There are also a number of subplots introduced and dropped. Some of them even seem interesting. This inconsistency lasts throughout Lantern’s Lane. The movie wavers between outrageous horror and grounded drama while one of the characters alternates between whining coward and death defying (literally) hero.

The worst offender is the anti bullying message. It seems like it is going to go the typical route before leading to one of the most unheroic moments seen in film in quite a while. It is upsetting and tone deaf and makes the protagonists that much more insufferable. This all leads to a predictable final scene that will have no impact and only further undermines any deeper commentary.

Lantern’s Lane comes to theaters and VOD November 5

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