Tuesday, October 19, 2010
31 days, 31 faves: Lake Mungo
I've already mentioned how much I love ghost stories and have certainly had my share highlighted these last few weeks. And today is no different. Most of these films have been older ones - movies I've enjoyed for many years. But I feel it's important to note that there have been a few that I've seen more recently that knocked my socks off.
Lake Mungo is a film that did just that, in 2008. The long of it is that I've already done a review of it, so you can read my thoughts here. The short of it is just this: when sixteen year old Alice Palmer dies while drowning in a local dam, her family starts to experience all kinds of really bizarre supernatural events, until they begin to question if she is actually dead or not.
It is told as a documentary of sorts, with interviews from family and friends filling in (most) of the gaps yet leaving just enough to the imagination to freak you out. Most impressive is the acting - a group of relative unknowns were tapped to play the roles, and they do a fantastic job of making you believe they are just as puzzled as you are regarding the events surrounding Alice's death.
As of late, a lot of films are shown in the "found footage"style. Most of them are more annoying than scary. However, this film is the real deal. For everything that films like Paranormal Activity may have lacked, Lake Mungo gets just right, with eerie camera work and convincing portrayals of people who knew the victim and are trying to understand just what is going on.
Even though sometimes it seems like not a whole lot is going on, there are subtle twists and turns that keep you guessing - just when you think you have everything figured out. While at times it feels like you might be watching 20/20 or 48 Hours, I've certainly never seen anything on a news program that unnerved me as much as this 90 minute mockumentary.
All I can really say is that this film deserves to be seen. It's realistic, haunting, and will leave a memorable impression on you. And that is why it's one of my (new) favorites.
*Addendum: I just learned that Lake Mungo is on Netflix Instant Watch. Now there really is no excuse not to see it for those of you with that DVD service. Go! Now!