Monday, April 05, 2010

Movie Review: Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo is one of the films featured in 2010's Afterdark Horror Filmfest. But, don't think that this one is a scare-your-pants-off monster movie. Lake Mungo is barely a whisper of a horror film that relies on the pure emotional distress of losing a child. And that is where the heart of the "horror" lies in this film. Sure, there's a ghost story tied in here, but that was, to me, a sidetrack to the real horror displayed here.

Lake Mungo is an Australian faux-documentary on the accidental death of 16-year old Alice Palmer and how her death impacted her family. All of the actors here are incredibly believable and if one wasn't already aware that this is, in fact, fiction, it would be easy to believe that what we are seeing is real.

Not long after Alice's death, strange things begin occurring at her family's house. Her brother, Matthew, catches odd images in his pictures and videos that lead the family to believe that their daughter is either still alive or haunting their home.

As the movie progresses, the family discovers things about their daughter that they never knew. This is where the film took a turn for me as many of the "discoveries" were extremely convenient and in truth, didn't add anything to the film. If anything, it stole some of the fire from the family's plight.

Lake Mungo was a disturbing movie, no, maybe "unsettling" is a better word to describe this movie, especially if you have a teenager of your own. But, for those looking for a strong ghost story, look elsewhere. I give Lake Mungo *** out of *****.

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