We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
“Alice kept secrets. She kept the fact that she kept secrets a secret.”
-Kim Whittle (Chloe Armstrong)
Film 23 of 35 of The Found Footage/Mockumentary Project.
Okay, since I have a full day to spare today, I’m going to power through some more films on the project, and really get this project nailed before my mind wanders to another menial task. Besides, we’re in with the big players now, the top 15 ‘Found Footage’ movies in my opinion (haven’t seen them all though), kicking off with Lake Mungo, the slow-burning supernatural drama from Australia.
Slow-burn is really the only word that can be used to describe this, that and unsettling. It’s a delicate film that trundles along in it its…
Recommended to me as a chilling movie, "Lake Mungo" was totally off my radar. It could have stayed that way really.
It's not a bad movie, but to me it was boring for way too long and riddled with plot contrivances, where characters do odd things or keep secrets just because. To make it all creepier I guess.
But what really held me back was the format. This is a faux documentary/found footage horror movie, which I didn't know until the movie started. That's a genre I'm all about. I generally like the "Paranormal Activity" movies, the "REC" series, "Blair Witch,"... all of them. It's a tired genre now, but one I am always curious about. "Mungo" though presents an…
One of the better hand held movies. Enough plot twists to keep you interested, and some creepy ghost stuff. Also a serious treatment of dealing with grief.
This is definitely one of my favorites and regularly recommend it to people who want a horror movie that has something other than the usual gore and jump scares.
A deep emotional movie about a family losing a child after she drowns. Odd subtle things start happening in the house which leads the family to investigate revealing that there was much more to her life than they thought.
Ok film, drab and sad but maybe a little lacking. There could've been much more done with this plot. Perhaps that is what made it so unsettling, the realistic characteristics of it, no fake effects, jump scares, etc.
Genuinely creepy, if you don't mind the relentless downtempo. This one made the hairs on my neck stand up, which doesn't ever happen.
If you haven't seen this before my original score of 4 and a half stars still stands. Quality acting, a realistic documentary style and a creepy story are the highlights here.
Yet watching it again isn't quite as great an experience. It's still a well-made film, but the creep factor changes more to a sadness about what the characters are going through, which isn't quite as powerful. Knowing what's coming lessens the film's impact.
But if you haven't seen it, it's great.
All the interesting stuff in horror is coming out of the underground at the moment. While the mainstream occasionally knocks out something genuinely creepy like Sinister, most of it is well made but devoid of ideas.
Lake Mungo was recommended on one of those 'horror films you've not seen but need to' type lists. It's the story of a girl who drowned being told as a documentary using found footage. It has horror elements in that a haunting plays a significant part, but this is really more of a mystery-story.
What is lacks in scares it makes up for in intrigue, realism and a degree of creepiness.
Ludicrous and the multiple plot holes stack against this slow and meandering retake on the death of a teen in a small town. There is one genuinely scary moment in the film...it only takes about an hour to get to it and then the film returns to it's overly mournful and whiny talking heads, with too much ambiguity to ever really give a damn.
It's rare for a horror film to be this well constructed from a strict technical standpoint. The fact that the story is a bit generic at points is less important because the emotions expressed in the faux-documentary are so authentic that it feels real. Nothing in this movie feels cheap and the scares and tension are made from actual atmosphere then cheap jump scares. If you are a horror fan this is your more sophisticated type of horror. For fans of other movies, this is a great starter film if you wanting something more realistic.
Is it a ghost story? As the story elements of this Australian faux-documentary continue to unfold, and unfold, and unfold, the answer to that question becomes very blurry indeed.
After Alice, a sixteen-year old girl drowns while on an outing with her family, their grief is complicated by evidence of her returning to haunt their home.
With most horror films this simple storyline would stretch to tenuously fill the entire running time, but Lake Mungo keeps twisting and turning... cleverly pulling the rug out from what is obvious without resorting to out and out trickery. The actors portraying the family are spot on believable and the extended world they live in is filled out very well.
It isn't a "jump out of your seat" kind of spooky film, but the atmosphere of creeping dread and mystery is expertly maintained by writer/director Joel Anderson.
- Whistle and I'll Come to You
- The Woman in Black
- The House with Laughing Windows
- Who Can Kill a Child?
- Night of the Living Dead
- Night of the Living Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Day of the Dead
Horror movies are by far my favorite, so I've decided to make a list with all of them I remember…
- The Haunted Castle
- The Bewitched Inn
- The X-Ray Fiend
- The Devil in a Convent
- Faust and Marguerite
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…