Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
If you've never seen a ghost... Look closer.
16 year old Alice Palmer drowns in a local dam. When her body is recovered and, her grieving family buries her. The family experiences a series of strange, inexplicable events centered in and around their home. Unsettled, the Palmers seek the help of psychic and parapsychologist, Ray Kemeny. Ray discovers that Alice led a secret, double life. At Lake Mungo, Alice's secret past emerges.
Hoop-Tober 3.0 Film # 1
Ok, so now that I'm back from holiday and going through some serious post holiday blues, I thought now would be the perfect time to bash on with this years Hoop-Tober challenge.
First up was this Australian oddity, a film where the less you know going in the better, it's part mystery and part ghost story, the kind of film where just when you think you know where it's going it pulls the rug out from under you and goes in another direction entirely. Filmed like a talking head documentary, the film looks at the Palmer family during the aftermath of their daughters death and the strange occurrences that happen soon after. The film…
It is rare for a film to so perfectly ape the detail of a documentary without letting its mask fall once, especially one that is trying to incorporate a fictional ghost story. Usually the dialogue, the use of found footage or the nuances of the acting tend betray the authenticity in one way or another but every beat here ticks along perfectly, although tellingly, a little too precisely.
Whether intentionally or not, its suburban, gothic style atmosphere is reminiscent of Twin Peaks, not to mention the girl in question,16-year-old Alice Palmer, sharing the same surname. There are other, more obvious horrors that spring to mind too, although director Joel Anderson delivers the chills in a far more restrained manner. The…
Jam-packed with one twist after another and never letting its viewers figure out just where exactly its plot is headed, Lake Mungo is one of the most underrated works of mockumentary horror that's cleverly crafted, ingeniously executed, and takes a turn on every available opportunity to sustain a sense of uneasiness throughout its runtime.
Lake Mungo centres around the Palmer family that is mourning the accidental death of their young daughter after she drowns while swimming at a dam. As the Palmers attempt to move on from the unexpected tragedy that befell them, they experience a set of inexplicable events in their house and eventually unearth a dark secret about their deceased girl.
Written & directed by Joel Anderson, Lake Mungo…
Part two of an Aussie found footage double bill with a film that isn't really a found footage film but is a film that does something interesting with the form.
And it is that interesting manipulation of the sub-genre of found footage films that makes Lake Mungo such a good film, despite the fact that it is quite possibly far cleverer than I think I originally realised.
Initially I thought I was in yet more tiresome 'start with the ending' territory with the way the film started but when you realise that this is film that is largely focused on what happens after Talia Zucker comes to a mysterious end, you quickly see that this is a bit different from…
Don't know how I managed to never hear about this one before today. Probably because I lost faith, and interest, in the "found footage" genre a long time ago... Sweet to see I once again was wrong. This was good - and smart. It did scare me (which is not such an achievement in itself, I'm a bit of a sissy) but it also makes a whole lot of sense in its depiction of how people deal with grief. It starts off slowly but its numerous twists eventually get you hooked. Add to that the rather polished direction and the gorgeous landscape and I was sold.
Joel Anderson's Lake Mungo is a classic case of a good idea poorly executed. It's not bad per se, but more instantly forgettable and I have no motivation to write about it. It kinda felt like it was part Paranormal Activity and part The Killing TV show, but not as good as either.
I rewatched this film this morning after spotting it on the 'featured' page on Shudder. I had a relatively fond recollection of it, but I couldn't remember details. For some reason, like many folks, I think that I mentally placed it under that general umbrella of 'found footage'/'immersive horror' and filed it away as part of a general mainstream trend at the time; however, it's not that at all. "Mockumentary" doesn't really set well with me either, since there's a lot more going on than that term implies. I think that it is a beautiful example of a film attempting to both examine and present (evoke? generate? mimic or mirror?) hauntology. I could probably go on and on about this…
It's a great imitation of a fairly dull documentary, which is treacherous to begin with. It's a format that makes it difficult to create vivid characters, and indeed the girl at the center of this story, who never appears onscreen (not alive, anyway), is a bit of a cipher, which further attenuates the film's power. I nodded off a few times, although I felt my focus miraculously returning when the cell phone footage came onscreen, which shows there's still live current flowing through this film somewhere.
All in all, I think I'm going to have to give it a rewatch some time, because this movie gets so much love from so many people. For Stacie…
An effective faux-documentary that is creepy through out. Make sure you stay for the credits!
I've never claimed to be a horror movie connoisseur, having only really delved into the genre in the past couple of years, but I've still seen my fair share of supposedly scary movies. Let me tell you - Lake Mungo is the first horror film in a long while where I felt like I would have nightmares after viewing (the most recent before that would have to be REC, which I saw a year prior). This is a deeply unsettling, disturbing picture that filled me with a powerful sense of unease and fear that many similar features have failed to coax out of me.
The absolute best way to view Lake Mungo is without knowledge of the events within -…
Bastante interesante, tiene unos giros que no me esperaba para nada, otros que si, pero en general termine muy satisfecho con la conclusión que se le da a la historia.
Relies way too much on blurry figures appearing in the background of photos. In fact, that was pretty much the entirety of the scares. I also didn't care for the plot turn halfway through: it killed the movie's momentum, bringing things to a halt and the movie never really caught up again. The whole last act was basically an attempt to recapture the energy of the first act. But with all that said, the movie did have some effectively creepy moments, and I really liked the faux documentary style.
Interesting build up but nothing new here, sorry.
'Lake Mungo' plays like an especially unnerving episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries.' Structurally complex and frightening Australian horror movie. Highly recommended.
"a sophisticated, adult tale that blends complex, compelling emotions with reflexive commentary on film as a 'medium' of memory, manipulation and magic... a classic supernatural enigma, once seen never forgotten."
More at Projected Figures
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Found these lists (twelve total which I've compiled) a couple years back and they slowly became my bible for weird…