Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.
Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body.
The family are obviously distraught and the rest of the film see them try and piece together Alice’s final hours, latching on to old videos and trying to locate her missing cell phone a complex series of events are slowly unravelled, on top of this there’s a lot of “activity” going on in family home which is escalated by the addition of a medium and various spiritual characters start popping out of the woodwork as well as “spooky” footage of Alice’s ghost..
For half of the movie it’s simply long slow shots and voice overs from June Palmer (Traynor) as she struggles to understand what her daughters ghost is trying to convey to her, at one point the most reliable sighting is soon put to sleep after Matthew Palmer (Sharpe) is proven to have cleverly faked some of the sighting evidence, using his laptop and a mirror but don’t worry there is more. There seems to be a need from budding director Joel Anderson is attempting to pull in his audience and then push them away, slowly filtering out the rubbish and fake events but every so slowly creeping down a winding path to the truth which gets darker and more mysterious as the film slowly progresses.
Overall it’s a harrowing experience which is bolstered with lots of emotion and despite the small budget it is really executed so finely down to the smallest details. But in terms of it’s wow factor, the film seems to be weighed down by the families distractions but in hindsight there are some nerve shattering revelations and dark secrets but it just didn’t crawl under my skin and give me chills like it believe a story like this could have. I can’t praise it enough for what it was attempting to do with it’s budget and the amount of dedicated work that went into it is outstanding and more films really need to pay attention to the making of the movie. It was deep and moving and creepy but not something that stayed with me for long.
R: Demon House (2018)
L: Horror Mokumentaties, Found Footage Horror, A-Z Of Australian Horror,