Lake Mungo

2009

Lake Mungo

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,837

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Movie Info

Sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer drowns while swimming in the local reservoir. When her body is recovered and a verdict of accidental death returned, her grieving family buries her. Then, they begin to experience a series of strange and inexplicable events centered in and around their home. Profoundly unsettled, the Palmers seek the help of psychic and parapsychologist Ray Kemeney. He discovers that Alice led a double life. A series of clues leads the family to Lake Mungo where Alice's secret past emerges. Lake Mungo is a mystery, a thriller and a ghost story told in documentary form that illustrates how the dead can forever haunt the living.

Cast

Talia Zucker
as Alice Palmer
David Pledger
as Russell Palmer
Martin Sharpe
as Mathew Palmer
Rosemary Traynor
as June Palmer
Steve Jodrell
as Ray Kemeny

News & Interviews for Lake Mungo

Critic Reviews for Lake Mungo

All Critics (17) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1)

  • This is an underappreciated, underseen gem.

    October 16, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • This masterpiece of modern horror takes relatively safe elements and turns them into nightmarish factors of a grim and realist mockumentary. [Full review in Spanish].

    March 17, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    October 21, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    July 18, 2011 | Full Review…
  • And don't deny yourself the film's final creepy images - stay for the credits...

    August 9, 2010 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    April 8, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lake Mungo

  • May 09, 2018
    As far as horror mockumentaries go, this is a bleak and very well-made study of loss and grief that may not be as scary as it is spooky but builds a compelling mystery as family secrets are exposed and we begin to realize that things are not exactly what they seem to be.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2015
    It wasn't scary, more spooky. A little slow-moving, but not terrible.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2013
    Very slow, but I guess that it was intended to be that way. Mildly interesting...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2012
    A creepy slow-burner of an Australian horror movie, Lake Mungo gradually unravels its mysteries with small eerie discoveries up until the terrifying climax. The movie has an impressive sense of unity, especially considering that the ending closes up all loose ends brought up from the beginning of the movie, and all of the movie's events are shown to be closely connected to each other. The movie is formatted as a documentary of one family's search for answers in the mysterious death of their sixteen year old daughter. The movie is completely fictitious, but you wouldn't know it from watching it, as the actors are completely naturalistic and believable. There is nothing that indicates that they are acting, they just seem like normal people thrust into an extraordinary situation. Most of the movie's scares come from photos and found footage, which is a gimmick that doesn't always work in movies. However, in Lake Mungo the found footage gimmick is used to great effect, and this movie is ten times scarier than its weaker American counterpart, Paranormal Activity, which was released around the same time as this movie and got much more attention. I'm not one to scare easily from horror movies, but in all honesty the climax of this movie terrified me enough to make me loudly utter "OH MY GOD" at the TV. If you're looking for an intelligently creepy psychological horror movie, Lake Mungo delivers on nearly every front, and the horrifying climax will likely burn itself into your mind for a good while.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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