How would you classify a movie that is about grief and ghost? Also filmed in a mock documentary style that rival some of today's Oscar winning documentary films. This movie belongs in a sub-genre of its own, and it's a very good thing that Lionsgate has step up to the plate and picked this film for its After Dark "horror" film series. Otherwise no one outside of Australia would have heard of it, especially in America where the horror genre has devolved into the realms of torture and killing. What now days constitutes as "scary" in the American horror is truly discouraging for those of us who were weaned on horror films that have a story to tell and is scary and creepy.
What makes Lake Mungo good is also its achilles heel. For those who are not a regular watcher of documentary films, which happens to consist the main audience of After Dark horror series, this movie will be as foreign to them as an Ingmar Bergman film. I would have wished Lionsgate to market this movie as a stand alone film and not be packaged into a group of horror films which it's not a part of.
Lake Mungo draws you in to its ghostly world slowly but surly like poison from a blow dart. This film let its editing, music, and atmosphere be the narrator how one family in Ararat, Australia deals with a loss of a love one and that loss somehow morphed into strange sound in the night and haunting images on the photographs and videos.
The documentary style in this film is by far better executed by the film makers than the recent other mock documentary films such as "Paranormal Activity" and "The Fourth Kind". The acting is subdue and the film draws heavily on family's "home videos" which adds a sense of realism. There are few times where the imperfection of the film does surface and disrupted the mood, for example, shortly after the Palmer's daughter died, the family was asked to identify the body and afterward on the way home their car's gearshift broke down and can only goes in reverse, which is how they drove home. That scene makes me scratching my head. The story line of Lake Mungo inter-twanged like a maze, and ends with a touch of supernatural, which makes one wonders if there is ghost or not?
As others have already pointed out, Lake Mungo is not a horror movie by today's American teenagers definition, and they are right. This film is not a horror film. It's a creepy, moody, and stylishly film about dark journey of grief and a ghost, if you should be inclined.
5 out of 14 found this helpful