Lake Mungo (2008) - After Dark Horrorfest 4

Genre(s): Horror
Lions Gate || R - 104 minutes - $19.98 || March 23, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-17


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Joel Anderson
Writer(s): Joel Anderson (written by)
Cast: David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker, Steve Jordell


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I’ve never really been a huge fan of the horror genre that deals with real-life experiences or documenting supernatural experiences. The shows on television never fascinated me despite the fact they have a huge cult following. Lake Mungo, the second in the After Dark Horrorfest 4 series, is a documentary that goes into the world of Alice Palmer and the supernatural experiences that families faced in a house. Wait, I haven’t started bashing it yet, so I’d better start now. Yup, this one’s a dud. There we go, onto the film.

Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) is swimming in a lake when she accidentally drowns. Her family tries to bury her, yet strange things start happening that they just managed to video tape at the right time. The film is shown somewhat in a documentary style and then in real-life style, which is confusing and somewhat of a pain to have to type up a review about. The family, which includes June (Rosie Traynor), Russell (David Pledger), and several others notice strange things happening in their house once she passes away.

When they are videotaping themselves they see several incarnations of her in the reflection of mirrors, windows, and see her in general despite the fact she’s dead. It turns out though that she led some sort of double-life that her parents were unaware of, hence why she’s now haunting them somewhat and causing them a bunch of grief and pain by appearing in reflections. The family seeks the help of a psychic, Ray Kemeny (Steve Jodrell), to help them figure out what is wrong with their dead daughter (seriously) and why or how she continues to stay in this world without moving onto the next.

I severely loathed this film to no end. I was bored almost the entire time while watching this dribble, as though I was unsure if this movie was in fact real or fake. The director did an incredibly poor job of simulating what film was real, fake, or a combination of both that the family shot. Somehow I’m supposed to believe, and audiences too, that the family documented everything that happened in the house and has some amazing pause and zoom-in technology to see their daughter in every little thing? Did they ever think that they should just move on with their lives and that their daughter is truly dead?

The direction of the movie aside, premise too for that matter, there just wasn’t anything I found to be that exciting with the film itself. The pacing is relatively slow and the end conclusion, of which left me somewhat dumb-founded, wasn’t enough to keep my interest through this painfully long movie. The film takes forever to start (not reading, I mean actually get interesting) and once it did I was still going “huh?” throughout the duration. The movie didn’t click with me at all on any level, which is strange since usually I enjoy the murder mystery type of films.

I suppose that this film is one that will excite the ghost hunters in all of you who like those types of shows, but all others would be wise to stay away.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Amazing how some of them come with tons of extras, and others get zilch. For once, I’m happy this one is a clunker.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

It’s hard to accurately the video transfer of a film that has so many scene changes in it. By scene changes, I mean jumping from someone talking, to a video clip, then another interview, etc, the entire movie. The scenes where the people are actually talking look great, and then the other two described above look like garbage. Colors in the last two are drowned out and appear much paler than in the first sequence. I noticed grain in the last two parts, but not that much if at all in the first area. I’m sure it was there just not in the amounts that the other parts had encased. This is simply a lackluster transfer, hence the lackluster score.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is fairly worthless as well, since there are maybe two jump moments in the entire movie and dialogue is so low that I struggled to hear the film. Although, looking back on things, that might not have been such a bad thing. There’s not a lot of good I can accurately say about this track as though there isn’t a ton to judge it on. Surround sound is non-existent, as though almost all the “action” comes from the center speaker and that’s about it. Some surround usage and reworking of the track could have made this one much better.



.::OVERALL::.

I didn’t enjoy Lake Mungo at all, but I’m sure there are others who may find this one fascinating enough to rent. The whole “ghost” story idea was boring, the pacing is downright awful, and the characters are wooden. I thought the whole point of the “After Dark Horrorfest” was to scare people, not to lull them to sleep?