A Double Dose of Recent DVD Releases
Lake Mungo and I Sell The Dead
While the 8 Films To Die For series seems to be a complete waste, mainly consisting of lame direct to video fare lacking entertainment and interesting stories. Also they are usually loud, obnoxious and full of the most obvious of horror movie cliché’s. Out of nowhere comes this quiet and subtle little horror flick straight from the outback that shows maybe this horror festival idea may not be completely useless.
Now this movie is pretty much fucked in terms of ever being relevant or known due to the success of Paranormal Activity which is shares a similar idea, but is so different that to call it a knock off/rip off whatever would be stupid. Though I would say Paranormal Activity is a more successful movie in terms of scares Lake Mungo was an interesting film.
While I was never truly scared while watching Lake Mungo, it’s a real slow burn flick that gives the story time to breathe so when the ghost starts showing up it sent a chill down my body, it was really strange. Even though the movie gets convoluted toward the end and never resorted to jump scares I ended up having 2 terrible nightmares about drowning that night.
The movie presents itself as some true story (don’t know if its based on anything, I’m done caring about that I’ll just assume its real and if I believe it then the filmmakers did a good job) about an Australian family while swimming in some damn their daughter disappears and is found drown to death later that day. It shot like a documentary more then a movie, we get interviews with the family and friends, shot of time lapses of the house, old family video tapes and news clips. They set the believability factor extremely high. Once the family realizes that their daughter’s ghost is haunting them we get the clips of the blurred ghost image and the speculations. It never jumps into BOO A GHOST! stuff like Paranormal Activity, the ghost isn’t there to kill people.
All in all if you like ghost stories you will enjoy this. If you have a hard time finding any fun and believability out of these sort of movies then skip it because you will be just as pissed at the end of this as your were with Blair Witch. But for a fan of ghost movies and these true event films I enjoyed this different approach to it. Also if you are a fan of documentaries you would enjoy this because it’s well shot and done and as some of the mysteries are revealed you’ll be surprised. This of course is a ‘the less you know the better it is’ sort of film.
This is probably a step above direct to DVD/SyFy movie of the week stuff, but with a much better cast and interesting idea making it a lot more fun. While ultimately the movie just goes no where, it was a fun little diversion just lacking in awesomeness.
This movie could have easily gone in the Evil Dead awesome territory, it fleets with the idea but is never will to go through with it. I mean first off you got a movie set probably in the 1800’s and you have three of the best looking actors for the part. Ron Perlman, Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden are all pretty ugly dudes who’s natural look fits in well with the time period instead of some pretty boy Mel Gibson type. Monaghan is the lead for once (instead of his usual fifth down the list spot) and he’s actually watchable. He is a grave robber along with Larry Fessenden who have just been sentenced to the guillotine for killing someone, Ron Perlman plays a man of the cloth who is interested to hear Dominic’s tales before he loses his head. That’s about it, Dominic tells Ron a couple of stories about grave robbing and running into the undead and then we find out Ron’s real reason for being there, end of movie.
I wish they had just made it a straight tale about grave robbing instead of this last words sort of deal. Make Ron their overbearing boss and this could have been a lot more fun. Also the over use of CGI hinders the film, small low budget horror comedies like this need to be practical effects but it just sucks because for movies like this to get made these days means a lot of cheap CGI work. Also the inclusion of some love interest over half way through was pretty useless. In the end a fun little diversion if you enjoy DTV stuff but nothing memorable.