It’s been a few years now since I first sat down to watch Lake Mungo and I can remember initially being really impressed by it. By the time I sat down to rewatch it the other night ( a full 6 years after I’d watched it the first time! ) I’d completely forgotten what it was about.
I vaguely remembered someone dying and I vaguely remembered a documentary setup. Let’s take a closer look…
The one thing that keeps Lake Mungo moving even though it is a slow paced experience, is the unique angle debut feature director Joel Anderson has centered on.
I’m not going to lie to you – at times I got really bored throughout this movie’s journey but something seems to keep you gripped to the screen. The documentary format seems a little dull and grey for large periods of the film but it still manages to keep you absorbed.
It’s just a unique piece of horror filmmaking – something the Found Footage genre hadn’t really tried before. Everything is low key and pedestrian-paced but well measured at the same time.
Lake Mungo follows the Palmer family as they deal with the loss of their daughter Alice. The family have agreed to be filmed for a documentary due to the strange occurrences that took place about a month after Alice’s passing.
The documentary crew interviews the family members, their close friends and even their work colleagues in an attempt to find out the truth behind the reported incidents.
Did Alice’s spirit return to the Palmer home?
Don’t get me wrong – this is definitely classed as a horror genre film ( well at the very least a dark thriller! ), but it’s not the horror that makes this film stand out.
The story becomes a strong story due to the emotions Joel Anderson has honed in on. He seemed to realize that this subject could work both ways – tearjerker and creepiness rolled into one!
He has managed to create a melancholy ghost movie that handles extremely sensitive topics in style.
As I mentioned earlier – this is not an intense Blair Witch or Grave Encounters experience. Many scenes in this film bored me to tears but they didn’t seem to matter that much – they had to be there for the realism to work out.
The viewer has no real idea what is going to happen next throughout the whole experience. The twists come thick and fast and that is what keeps the film moving.
I feel it’s a shame that this film hasn’t really had the coverage it deserves over the years – apart from Found Footage freaks ( like you and me! ) I doubt anyone will really know of it’s existence.
The film is actually an Australian production that cost approximately 1,400,000 Australian dollars. I have no idea how much that is in British Pounds or US dollars but I’m betting it’s a decent enough budget.
This showed in the line up of actors they had in the film – I couldn’t really find a weakness in any of them. I also thought that the filming location of Ararat in Victoria gave the film a great cinematic edge and atmosphere.
Overall a unique and winding plot backed up by decent actors and a decent setting. At times it is slightly boring but it has to be – this allows it to remain realistic throughout.