RLJE Films, the business unit of AMC Networks, and its horror-centric streaming service Shudder have acquired the North American rights to The Lair, the upcoming horror film from Neil Marshall, from Highland Film Group along with its release date being announced. Originally reported by Deadline, the newest horror outing from the director of 2005’s The Descent will be released by RLJE Films in theaters and on digital and Video On-Demand later this year on October 28 with it eventually heading to Shudder early in 2023. While RLJE Films will manage the film’s North American release, with Shudder picking up the rights for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand markets.
The film stars Charlotte Kirk as Capt. Kate Sinclair, a Royal Air Force pilot who is shot down in the air over Afghanistan. Once on the ground, she takes refuge in an old abandoned bunker, unknowingly releasing beings known as the Ravagers, half human, half alien man-made bioweapons. Other stars in the film include Jonathan Howard and Jamie Bamber. Ahead of its theatrical run this October, The Lair will premiere next month at FrightFest. Marshall had this to say about his upcoming film:
“I’m thrilled to be back in the world of full blooded action horror for the first time since ‘The Descent’ and ‘Dog Soldiers,’ and this film certainly holds some kinship with those two movies. Originally conceived as a small and contained indie film to shoot during lockdown, my ambitions for the movie grew into something much more action-packed and monster-fuelled, with a sci-fi twist. It’s packed full of cool characters, scares, laughs, and of course some grizzly death scenes. The main thing I want audiences to take from this movie is a great time. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.”
Along with the announcement of the acquisition, Deadline spoke to people from both RLJE Films and Highland Film Group about The Lair. One of the individuals spoken to was RLJE Films’ Chief Acquisitions Officer, Mark Ward, who said, “After directing the scariest horror film of its decade, The Descent, Neil Marshall is back with another terrifying trip underground. The Lair proves yet again that Neil Marshall is a true master of horror.” Another quote comes from Delphine Perrier, the Highland Film Group COO, who spoke on the company’s excitement for this deal with RLJE Films. “We are thrilled to have the team at RLJE Films and Shudder come on board to release The Lair. They are the ideal partner to introduce this action horror film to audiences in the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The Lair offers an edge-of-your-seat experience with terrifying creatures and delivers exhilarating thrills that audiences love!”
In addition to Kirk, Howard, and Bamber, the cast for The Lair also includes Mark Arends, Hadi Khanjanpour, Tanji Kibong, Leon Ockenden, Mark Strepan, Harry Taurasi, Alex Morgan, Adam Bond, Sarah Lambie, Kibong Tanji and Troy Alexander. In addition to starring in the film, Kirk also served as the co-writer on the film alongside Marshall with the pair also being the executive producers with Samantha Allwinton, Reinhard Besser, Phil Rymer, Joe Simpson, and Simon Williams. The producer on the project is Daniel-Konrad Cooper with Kwesi Dickson, Jonathan Halperyn, and Daniel Kresmery serving as co-producers. The film is produced by Rather Good Films Ltd. Financing for the project comes from Ashland Hill Media Finance, Ingenious, and Trigger Films. Highland Film Group is handling international sales of the film.
The Lair is set to release in theaters and on digital and VOD on October 28, with Shudder set to bring the film to stream the film early next year.