Gaining the unattainable is something which can provide motivation for most. Whether it is a job, a car or something more far fetch, the idea of getting something we never thought we would ever have is something which drives humanity.
So when you throw financial gain into the mix, with an almost unsolvable riddle the obvious response is game on.
This is the premise of Tomas Leach’s documentary The Lure, which follows a group of people searching through the rocky mountains in a bid to find some hidden treasure. The story goes that eccentric millionaire and art dealer Forrest Fenn was diagnosed with cancer. Thinking he didn’t have much longer to live, he hide part of his fortune in the mountains, with a cryptic poem which would lead one lucky person to the riches.
The film follows different groups of people who are on the hunt for the loot exploring their reasons for doing so and why they keep coming back in the hopes they will find it. On the surface you think these people are on a wild goose chase in such a vast landscape that they are never going to find Fenn’s treasure, but as you get to know the players a little deeper you become sympathetic towards them and hope they strike gold.
What is scary is the obsession that some of these “hunters” have with finding Fenn’s treasure. There is one scene where one hunter David describes to Fenn what he would do if he finds the prize and it is rather creepy and a little bit disturbing. There’s a darker side, of course. Several people have gone missing whilst searching and one man has died. But the risk is part of the appeal. Two sisters who go searching together talk about how their husbands are convinced they’ll be raped and murdered.
But the name of this film does exactly what it says on the tin, it is that lure which keeps these people coming back. Always that thought of what if? Maybe I’ll find it tomorrow.
However, there is also the theory of does it exist? Throughout the film Fenn is very cryptic, teasing that people have been 200ft away from it and never giving too much away. Is he just playing one massive game with people? Only he has the answer to that question.
The Lure is essentially just people walking around the mountains, but it is the hope they have which has you hooked till the very end.
Dir: Tomas Leach
Starring: Forrest Fenn
Prd: Robert Fernandez, Dan Levinson and Errol Morris
Run time: 77 minutes