October 17, 2011

Lake Mungo (2008)



"When a series of inexplicable supernatural events strikes their home, Russell (David Pledger) and June (Rosie Traynor) Palmer try to figure out exactly what is behind the tragic drowning death of Alice (Talia Zucker), their 16-year-old daughter."

Having seen quite a few people recommending "Lake Mungo" on Reddit over the last couple of weeks, I thought I'd better have a look at it myself before it got removed from Netflix even though I knew I was going to be disappointed.

Mockumentaries are a difficult thing to pull off as they either have to be done so well that you think that they are real documentaries or so ridiculously that they become parodies. "Lake Mungo", in spite of its amusing name, went for the straight approach but still lost me within the first twenty minutes. If it had been a comedy though, it would have lost me a lot sooner than that.

I didn't find it scary and it had the stilted timing of the BBC's "Ghostwatch" (1992) about it which made it feel even faker than it already was. It didn't fool me for a second, but if it was shown on regular TV and you accidentally flicked onto it, you might be sucked in a bit more.


The biggest problem for me was that the main characters were too calm and composed considering that they were supposed to be a grief stricken family. The acting wasn't completely awful, but I found it odd that there just wasn't a lot of emotion to it. Although the Australian uptalking occasionally made statements sound like questions, the performances bordered on being flat and bland.

There were more than a couple of genuinely creepy moments which were a lot better than either of the "Paranormal Activity" films, and the dead girl played by Talia Zucker from "Neighbours" (not that I'd admit to watching that anymore) was very attractive.

The slight twist in the middle with Alice's brother (Martin Sharpe) admitting to having set up some additional fakery almost led me to a completely different conclusion than what was apparently intended, and I couldn't let that idea go in spite of the further revelations which followed. I'm still not entirely sure about why Alice died, if it was murder or suicide, or who was involved even after watching the film twice over.

I'll give "Lake Mungo" credit for being quite a neat idea, but this is one of those times when I think that the rumoured remake could actually turn out to be better.

No comments:

Post a Comment