Lake Mungo (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Lake Mungo
Apologies to Samson and Delilah, Mary and Max and Balibo: the one true great Australian film of 2009 was easily Joel Anderson's Lake Mungo, a mournful, dreamlike examination of the hole left in the heart of a family after a death.
a sophisticated, adult tale that blends complex, compelling emotions with reflexive commentary on film as a 'medium' of memory, manipulation and magic... a classic supernatural enigma, once seen never forgotten.
And don't deny yourself the film's final creepy images - stay for the credits...
It's actually quite difficult to imagine that this isn't a true story, and that the actors playing the tragic Palmers are not exactly who they say they are.
An after-the-fact faux-documentary about the death of a young girl -- and the creepy little hints she may have left behind.
Audience Reviews for Lake Mungo
Very slow, but I guess that it was intended to be that way. Mildly interesting...
A mockumentary with actual brains and with a story not build around the gimmick of the "shaky realistic camera" or whatever you want to call it. There are some flaws, the story lacks more juice and it wanders a bit too much on several places. It's a drama with a supernatural background, it bothers to have more compelling characters than just walking cliches. Not a classic but certainly worth a check.
Lake Mungo is an excellent documentary-style ghost story from Australia. It was quite different from what I expected. This isn't Paranormal Activity, despite the vaguely similar premise. It's primarily about the story of a family who has lost a loved one and can't let her go. This is much closer to a paranormal triller/supernatural drama than a horror movie.
Recalled mainly through interviews, camera, and cell phone footage, Lake Mungo is about an Australian family named the Palmer's. Teenage daughter Alice is lost in a drowning accident while on a family outing in 2005. After her death, they still sense her presence in their home, and shadowy images of her begin to show up in photos. Revealing any more of the story than that would be a disservice.
Kudos to the absolutely excellent acting from the relatively (at least, for this American) unknown cast. This is one of the more "real" feeling fiction documentaries that I've ever seen. This a lot of the reason Lake Mungo was so immersive to me. All the characters seemed like completely genuine people. This almost could have been a documentary that I stumbled upon while flipping through the channels.
This is probably one of the creepiest movies I've seen since The Others. Very unsettling. Not a lot of big chills and shocks, but it slowly builds an unsettling sense of atmosphere and dread of the unnatural and unknown, along with an unexpected but welcome mystery element. The plot goes a lot of places that might not be expected. At it's heart, Lake Mungo is also a quite sad movie. It was easy for me to believe that these people had lost a beloved daughter, sister, and friend, long before her time.
If you're looking for a pure, jump out of your seat popcorn horror flick, this isn't it. I happen to think it's something more interesting than that, though. A movie that sets out to do something different, and does it very well. I loved it. I haven't been this pleasantly surprised by a movie since Triangle.
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