Lover’s Lane (Blu-Ray Review)

Change is the most appropriate word to use when describing the Horror genre through the years… because progress would imply it has improved. In truth, sadly a good portion of anything put out in the present-day Horror world is either boring, overtly in-your-face, marred with the time’s political undertone, or completely lacking any originality. Without diving too deep down the rabbit hole of what exactly has happened to the genre, or what passes for it nowadays, it feels as if renaissance is unlikely.

Turning back the clock around two decades ago, the genre was no better. Not nearly as agenda driven as today’s scene, the issue that plagued early 2000s Horror was the cliched nature of everything produced. A style that birthed with the success of 1996’s Scream, continued with 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, and was already long in the tooth by 1998’s Urban Legend, it was arguably the most whitewash period of Horror cinema ever. Carrying over into the 2000s, it seems every major studio was dishing out another Scream derivative, but there were also more independent entries entirely such as Lover’s Lane.

Lover’s Lane / Arrow Video (2023)

Filmed in 1999, and released direct-to-video in 2000, Lover’s Lane was an independently made film directed by Jon Steven Ward and starring Erin Dean (The Journey of Allen Strange series), Riley Smith (Eight Legged Freaks 2002, Radio 2003), Sarah Lancaster (Saved by the Bell: The New Class series, Everwood series), as well as Anna Faris (Scary Movie 2000, The House Bunny 2008) in her feature film debut. Based on the urban legend of The Hook, the story is quite simple, but that is what makes it so watchable. Not overly gory, or robust with nudity, Lover’s Lane is not a complete waste of time because the story continuously flows and the cast actually look like they are enjoying what they are doing. Furthermore, two plus decades in hindsight, it is extremely refreshing to watch a more modern film where smartphones are nowhere to be found and the characters are not complete narcissists.  

All this in mind, while Lover’s Lane has been given two prior releases on DVD, both in 2000 and again in 2002, in 2023 Arrow Films offer the forgotten film on Blu-ray. Licensed by MGM Home Entertainment, and released back on April 25th, this marks the film’s debut on Blu-ray and it sports a new 2K restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative. Presented in two versions of the film – the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version – the transfer is mostly solid, however, there are some night scenes that are so grainy that you cannot make out a thing.

Lover’s Lane / Arrow Video (2023)

In addition, the Blu-ray features new audio commentary with Writer-Producers Geof Miller and Rory Veal, as well as a little featurette about the making of the film called Screaming Teens: The Legacy of Lovers Lane

Overall, this is a nice presentation of a film that time might have forgotten. If anything, it will remind you of how much simpler the world was pre-September 11th of 2001, but moreover, opposite the more current hyper divisive state of the world that teeters on the edge of a George Orwell-like universe. Worth a watch and addition to your collection, Cryptic Rock gives Arrow Films’ Lover’s Lane Blu-ray release 4 out of 5 stars.

Lover’s Lane / Arrow Video (2023)

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