Friday, May 7, 2010
Lake Mungo (2008)
Right off the bat, Lake Mungo adds a sense of credibility and realism with its cinema verite style of film. It adds a deeper sense of realism and automatically invests me emotionally as a viewer. I feel the plight of a family as they come to terms and explain everything leading up to and including the death of their daughter. Of course you need some great performances to draw you in and make that emotional connection. The entire cast is nothing short of amazing.
As mentioned, from the very start, we are thrown into the suffering plight of a grieving family. Their daughter Alice was swimming in a lake during a family trip and inexplicably went missing. Days later, her body was found and death by drowning was claimed to have been the cause.
After the family recounts the trip and the eventual horrific discovery, they begin to talk about strange occurances which seemed to happen almost immediately after their daughter's death. Noises in the house, sounds coming from their daugther's room and figures appearing in the hall, but no one wanted to believe that it was their loving daughter who'd come back.
Their son, who was incredibly close with the Alice, took up photography as a hobby and as a means of coping. After snapping a few pictures around the house, he noticed one day that the visage of his sister appeared in the family's backyard. Anxious to get more proof, he positioned cameras around the house to capture any sort of occurrance or supernatural happening.
Sure enough, events were captured on tape. But after further review the family comes to find that the brother staged everything. He couldn't come to terms with the loss and this acting out was a sort of coping mechanism. But when occurances keep happening after the exposure of the brother, the family begins to suspect that maybe the daughter really has come back to tell them something.
At this point in the film it takes a complete 180 shift in direction that you don't see coming at all. And if you do, I want the winning lottery numbers for this next week. We find out what plagued young Alice and racked her with guilt. And as this shocking turn of events unfolds, it leads into one of the scariest moments EVER committed to film. I won't divulge for those of you who haven't seen it but the whole concept was brilliant and unlike anything I've ever seen before. And it rattled me beyond belief. So much so that I had to turn on just about every light in my house. I was quesy for hours.
Lake Mungo is a genuinely scary film and one of the most original I've ever seen: both in execution and concept. I recommend this high likelihood of a pants shitting film.
Cortez the Killer