Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lake Mungo

NOTE: This review has spoilers below the fold towards the bottom of the page - out of site if you don't want to see them before watching the film. I highly recommend viewing the film BEFORE reading anything "spoilery".  It's a powerful film.  

I loved this film on so many levels.

Lake Mungo tells the sad tale of the Palmer family and the tragedy that struck them on a trip to Australia's Lake Mungo in New South Wales. June and Russel Palmer lost their daughter, Alice on that trip. Together with their son Mathew, the Palmer's try to overcome the great loss, but it isn't easy to forget that your 16 year old daughter has passed away.

Especially if your son's photos and videos of the house reveal images of her. Interviews with family and friends and the help of a psychic reveal that young Alice may have had many secrets.

One of the many haunting visuals in the film

The film is focused on interviews with friends and family and uses those interviews to tell Alice's sad story.  The pace is slow, but as her story unraveled, I found myself saying, "Whoa..." out loud several times - fascinated by the twists and turns the story made as it progressed.

There are some great "B-Roll" shots of the area in the film as well. Time lapse images of the house and the lake that show stars in the sky sweeping by and light play from passing cars that helped to set the mood. The attention to both the family interviews and the supporting footage was impressive.

The interviews are touching. The space that is left when a loved one passes is difficult for family members - we all know that. But, there is also a space left for friends that can be difficult to acknowledge at times especially when the focus is usually on the Family. The loss for friends is life altering as well. The interviews show this side of loss as well.

But, why is this film on THE HORROR SHOW if it's just interviews about how sad people are? Because of the photos and videos shot by Alice's brother. They are so haunting. So creepy.  They are really hard to overlook and must have been very hard for the family to deal with at the time. To see that your daughter is still present. To see that your sister is still around the house - as if she is standing and waiting for you to help her. Man...disturbing.

This is NOT a Paranormal Activity-like tale with action and wow factor. This is a document to family loss with some really creepy elements and visuals that are peppered between the video interviews. Fascinating and well worth a watch for fans of the paranormal!

The Palmer Family

Psychic brought in to help the family

Footage from Alice's friend's phone

~~~ S P O I L E R S     B E L O W    ( IN  GRAY ) ~~~

The most interesting aspect of this film was that it wasn't real! It was a mocumentary, but the acting and the story and the way everything was put together was fantastic. Better than Paranormal Activity or other efforts like it made to date. The actors pull off their roles and are believable. The story twists were fantastic and really did have me saying "Whoa" and "What?!" out loud. When the film was over, I had to jump on the internet at once t see if it was real. I was SO happy that I did this after it was over and not before. It really is far better NOT to know before viewing. Double switch reveals, plot twits and betrayals. I loved it! 

Please let me know if you have seen this film and what you thought about it. I thought it was fantastic!

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