Friday, May 7, 2010

Lake Mungo (2008)

Fear 5/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

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

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


Emily said...

Well said. I too was thoroughly affected by this film and weirdly freaked out, even though I wouldn't even classify it as horror.

Aaron said...

I'm glad you liked it!

Antonio D'Astoli said...

This movie is horrible, absolutely not scary, stupid and unbelievable... In this shit piece of cinema, the only worry of the characters seems to record video of whatever they're doing... 4/10

Cortez The Killer said...

@Emily, it is definitely one of those borderline films that's difficult to peg as being a true horror film.

@Aaron, it was truly unique and unnerving film watching experience.

@Antonio, I appreciate the opposing criticism. But I'm not quite sure I understand your argument. The whole point of the film was to highlight a family's experience, documentary style.

C.L. Hadden said...

I'm with the majority here, I loved it. The kind of movie that sneaks up on you and haunts you afterward. I rented it first - then bought it soon after. Freaky.

Atroxion said...

I didn't like this flick as much, but I can see where you're coming from. There were indeed one or two moments that scared the crap out of me, but overall it was a rather mediocre experience. The movie just felt pointless after reflecting on it and I realized that it wasn't worth an hour and half (or whatever its length is) for just a couple of good moments. I did like the twists and turns - it added some intrigue to the whole thing.

The thing that bugs me is why you gave this a 5/5 in entertainment. I can totally agree on the fear and creepiness parts, but if anything, this movie was far from entertaining. Especially the first twenty minutes or so. Now that was really challenging to get through.

Great review and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Cheers!

Cortez The Killer said...

@Atroxion, the reason for the 5/5 was the fact that this film kept me hooked and engaged from start to finish. It kept me completely engrossed and I found myself studying every frame, even when supernatural events weren't captured onscreen. To me, that's a sign of a great film.

I can understand your point though. There was a lot of dialogue and build-up at first. And for some, that can be a detractor.

Chris said...

I checked this out based on your review and I have to say that although you were right that it was impossible to predict where this movie would go, I wasn't too impressed overall with the movie itself. Parts of it made me feel like I was watching Ghost Hunters and I felt that it moved at a very slow pace. Also in the end I felt like nothing had actually happened, like once they got to the big twist they just kind of left it there. I'll still continue to read this website for suggestions though as typically I agree with most of your ratings

Cortez The Killer said...

Chris, I appreciate you checking out the film based off of our review. And I guess I should have been more explicit in the fact that this film is a slow burn. I respectfully disagree with the assertion that after the 'twist' they just kind of left it there. It went on to talk about the 'realization' she came to before her death (i.e. burying her articles and possessions). Not too mention the startling reveal of what she came face to face with.

Regardless, I appreciate you checking out our site. Thanks for the support.