DOA Review: The Lock In (2014)

DOA Case #0020

The latest exhumed grave reveals an odd autopsy of the first Christian horror movie from a distributor called Holy Moly Pictures, already aligning itself in ridiculousness, but it considers their movie a found footage film, except that it clearly contains edits, special effects (sort-of) and audio enhancements. Most of the film occurs during a “lock in” and hence the title, which is a slumber party inside of a church, religious school, and or center, and monitored by youth counselors, pastors, or church elders held from late afternoon until dawn, with teens of both sexes present and strictly monitored. The creators of the film and their plot show the viewers the definite and indefensible position the link between pornography and demonic activity and evils in general. This evidence of theirs shown through the movie, notes the intension to ban and bar all porn and return society to the moral high-ground , thereby stopping the sexual desires of teens and reinforcing families. Of course, the film goes further linking to Italian food and mathematics, and then relating to the puritan framework, didn’t turn out well for the sufferers of injustice during the Salem Witch Trials or other naïve persecutions.

No director listed on the film, and in fact no credits at all, though the IMDb reveals that Rich Praytor helm the project that later did the documentary film Ancient Secrets of Essential Oils (2016) and the writer credit falls to Beverly Banks, they also produced and starred in the film. As for the cast names find themselves listed but no clear indication who is who. In fact, in an interview with VICE, producers state “unironic (I know not a real word but they used it) scenes will probably seem hilarious to secular, porn-loving audiences… to Christians the horror movie is a much more serious film.” [*1] For the filmmakers pornography became the first topic to center a film around, it to them the worst offensive theme and no better forum than a horror movie (the cheapest).  The filmmakers to assume given its medium, that horror fans in general wouldn’t seek it out, but listing as demonic possession and found footage, centered right onto them. However, it contains, no violence, no bad language, no sinful pictures, no nudity, just two scary moments for the weak-willed fans. Rich at the time noted that no horror films deal with pornography terms or themes, oh how wrong he actual is, I think the average hardcore fan can name few R-rated flicks which fall along these themes.

AUTOPSY OF THE FILM:

Ah, where can one begin, as the problems mount quickly, first a goofy opening with the former youth pastor Chris, now as an insurance sales rep, speaking of the evil of that night at the Lock In, and is acting quite laughable then stating the film shown to horrified church elders of the First Baptist Church. That evil a demon possessed pornographic magazine, or as the movie calls it “dirty mag”. It starts with a jump cut to watching Justin, turn on his video camera then sit on his bed with his back to it and appear to thumb through a porno mag, fully dressed and the audience sees nothing not even the magazine. Then a distortion on the camera occurs and thereby signally a demon influence. Get it, oh that’s scary, seriously what teen would film themselves doing this action, NONE, NOT ONE OF THEM.

Okay let’s proceed, introducing Blake, the ringleader of the group telling the camera that Justin holds how cool he is and how cool this lock in going to be for his buddy Nicky. The dialogue between Nicky and his parents becomes so outrageously silly, as they condemn him eating pizza with Jessica, because of the sauce gets everywhere and the father makes the connection of linguini with sex, “ling weenie” because, it is a meal you suck it in to eat it. Then with statements of “Did God introduce you to her? Christians get pregnant too.  Never touch a girl until at least 25-years old. Solving math problems, leading to sex as a thank you,” this insanity continues with questioning of the lock in to have separate bathrooms for girls and boys. WAIT… WHAT? It’s at their church, they would’ve been notified beforehand, and what it serves as both a school and activity center, this is all leads to dumber dialogue.

Now according to the filmmakers the sin and pornography actually turns the boys, but first they break ‘man’s laws’ such as trespassing and then illegally dump trash into a dumpster, thereby find laying on top of trash the magazine in a clean wrinkled brown paper bag.

It clearly shows the dated mindset of the writer, which was the norm in the 1980s; today the porn exists on computers and cell phones. Blake plants the magazine into Nicky’s backpack and off church they head, soon enough it all translates to a discovery by Jessica, who becomes disgusted and upset. Pastor Chris burns the magazine soon afterwards, security cameras shows a door opening by itself and later rocking chair mysterious rocks by itself in the nursery. Oh wow, scary, what’s going to happen it this very lame horror movie.

Incredibly the magazine reappears, undamaged, still in the brown wrapper, because that’s how porn rolls, and demons hang out in dumpsters,  the trio dispose of it in a trash can, BIG DISTORTION occurs quickly the demon knocks over the trash can.

They freak out like little children running back downstairs, into darkness, which symbolizes the absence of the Lord, the lost is blackness, and left behind, as they only find Jessica hiding in a closet, her friend Genesis gone. Blake with such fakery gently bangs a chair against a window, of course, no damage (not in the budget), and those outside can’t hear them, as they find themselves condemned to loneliness for their sins and damnation from the demon.

A few trivial things happen nothing of any importance, such as demon filming the teens (dull), they incorporate a child, as the demon, again the same appearance as on the tape, but why a child and not a succubus (female demon to entice them).

Later the trio in the pastor’s office watches a tape of a parishioner talking about porn and masturbation, and while he cries, Chris leaves to get tissues and suddenly he becomes a demon with an enlarged mouth and blackened eyes.

Now wait a minute, this discovery makes no sense, since when does a pastor videotape a discussion, and leave it laying around, and has no tissues in the office. Justin reads script of Luke 8:26-39 of New Living Translation (NLT) and opens the briefest discussion on religion which fades to black. The bowels of the movie lay in ruins of bizarre rancid disease of misdirected and thoroughly uninteresting series of scenes.

CAUSES OF DEATH OF FILM:

The likely cause of the demise of the film falls first on the filmmakers and then the cast, as no one actually portrays themselves as believable which needs to occur in a supposedly found footage movie. First the logic of scenes falters heavily, with the teens’ clumsy dialogue and the adults with flubbed lines, overacting the moments, and not to mention the horrendous filming techniques. A brief issue with wardrobe concerning Nicky’s tee first back then white, and back to black, well who cares no one will notice. It includes extreme facial close-ups, unfocused shots and Justin’s camera never losing power or needing to change tapes, the audio glitches often and special effects nonexistent, the demonic sounds a low moan and high pitch screams.

Demons in horror films do visit churches, without fear (Pinhead), as the crosses merely symbolic; the faith compels everything, and herein no crosses inverted and nothing truly offensive such as a destroyed bible or actions. This demon, likely receiving a demotion in status, as it contributes a laughable farce film, sadly not in a good manner.

SUMMARY OF CASE AND AUTOPSY:

First a spoiler alert, everyone, aside from the demon, completely safe and absolutely no violence, occurs to anyone, in other words this film levels it’s as perhaps a PG only for the topic. However, the movie just sucks royally, many clichés find themselves used in the film, from the CGI demons similar to Grave Encounters (2011) and the dialogue of “Compel you” yes, The Exorcist (1973) rears its head, but the demon never pushes any boundaries. This film forgets the rules of going for the extreme and making one scared, rather gives a preaching lessons and utterly very boring. The findings simply leave this in an unmarked grave; it contains nothing for horror fans and the movie existing as word of mouth and occasionally found on YouTube. SIMPLY NOT SCARY!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4185488/

[*1] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/yvqvej/we-spoke-to-the-producers-of-the-lock-in

IMDb Rating: 1.2/10

DOA Rating: 1.1/10 – Go watch Axe ‘Em (1992) it has a 1.2 rating

No Trailer – Thank the Horror Gods, and the demon.

Profile photo of Baron Craze
About Baron Craze 28 Articles
Consider by many as a Horror Historian, writing detail reviews on many sites, with the first horror I ever saw was Grizzly (1976), from there I discovered Vincent Price and Christopher Lee movies, and of course Universal Monsters. I never watch the films just once, no rather multiple times, as I got older become both a completeist (the goal to watch all the horror films possible) and started to research many films to new depths of interest. Many of my reviews contain vast amounts of details about each film, in a fair review. In addition, a screenwriter and actor and producer of Blind Documentary, called A World Without Boundaries, and podcast DJ of 4 weekly shows 2 metal and 2 horror theme. Enjoy all things Horror, Gothic, and Macabre. Favorite Quote of Mine: "The Extreme Makes a Lasting Impression!"