Tag Archives: Horror Review

Lake Mungo (2008)

DIRECTOR Joel Anderson
STARRING Talia Zucker, Rosie Traynor, David Pledger
DISTRIBUTOR Arclight Films
RELEASE DATE June 18, 2008
RUNTIME 89 Minutes
COUNTRY Australia

Alice drowns while swimming and her family begins experiencing inexplicable events in their home. The family hires a parapsychologist whose investigation unveils Alice’s secret double life and leads them all to Lake Mungo.

If my opinion was formed based on the general description of this film my initial discernment would be “Okay…another found footage ghost story.” But My girlfriend and I have the rule to finish the entire film, no matter how bad it may be…Well, my prediction made me look like a damn fool. Not only does this movie satisfy your craving for a fresh spin on the ghost story; it throws you into an eerie ambiance of Suburban Australia that is not what it seems. It’s more a mockumentary than found footage as if it were a crime documentary on Dateline NBC. I would have never expected the excellent plot twists and unraveling creepy secrets that this film delivers on the unsuspecting audience.

We are introduced to the Palmer family and the recent tragedy they have endured: the mysterious drowning of their teenage daughter, Alice Palmer. (Palmer? That sounds familiar and I’m sure that was no accident)

At the surface, she appears an average happy teenage girl with a loving family and boyfriend subject to an accidental tragedy, but as the story trudges through interviews of the family and friends things begin to get spooky. Alice’s brother sets up cameras to capture a ghostly apparition creeping around their home, as well as further viewing of footage from the day of her drowning we notice a lone figure reminiscent of Alice lurking in the background. This may seem like a set up for generic found footage plot device but it is definitely used to its advantage.

The story is told through a collection of interviews and footage from home video, audio tapes, and cell phones. This medium produces an unsettling realism that makes us think “Do we really know the people we call our friends? Our family?” Even the acting, which is irrelevant if it can be considered bad or good, adds to the effect that this film is all too human. Lake Mungo slowly shatters our perception of intimacy and shows us an exercise in the existential crisis, especially among the “so-called” happy suburban family.  The film is not just a slow burn, but a candle slowly burning out leaving us empathic to the feelings of loneliness and shame.

If Joel Anderson wasn’t influenced by Twin Peaks then I must be in an alternate universe, because the movie is riddled with Lynchian moments of secrets, mystery, and in its subtle form the surreal, especially in the film’s conclusion. The only thing lacking is soft synth scores and people speaking in reverse. And I’m not even being critical of the similarities, I think it makes the movie even more enjoyable. I applaud Joel Anderson’s writing and directing in this film 100 percent because it is rare a movie can make flip my opinion so aggressively.

So if you’re into creepy slow burning ghost stories with some mystery to them I strongly recommend this film. After viewing it once I wanted to watch it again just because I wanted to make sure there weren’t any hidden things I could have missed when I blinked or glanced away from the screen. The film might be something you wouldn’t want to watch alone late at night, just because it makes you paranoid something is waiting behind your peripheral view. It is a great addition to my collection and will watch it again. If I were you I would def give this underrated Australian gem a chance.

Box of Dread December 2016

Price $14 (1 Month) | $13 (3 Months) | Shipping $6

From the folks at horror news site Dread Central is their horror-themed subscription box, Box of Dread. Box of Dread is a lower-priced box with two different options. You can choose either $14 for 1 month or a 3 month plan for $13 a month and the shipping is $6. Every month they choose a “7th Box” at random worth over $200 in horror items. Each month has a general theme with this one being “Friday the 13th”.

Box of Dread arrived in a wide brown box.

November’s Box of Dread included a Night of the Living Dead Enamel Pin, Evil Dead Variant Comic, Book of Eibon, Gremlins Figure & Greeting Cards and a Werewolves on Wheels Poster.

Vinyl Figure

Dorbz Horror figure of Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.

Keychain

Funko Pop keychain of course featuring Jason!

 

 

 

 

 

Art Print

Jason Voorhees print from horror artist Lou Rusconi.

 

 

 

 

 

Poster

High quality glossy poster for the new Dead Rising movie.

 

 

 

 

 

Poster

High quality glossy poster for Beyond the Gates.

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Codes

As a bonus Box of Dread has included codes to rent Hot Tub Party Massacre, I Was a Teenage Wereskunk, Die Die Delta Pi, Cub, Midsummer Nightmares and Cat & Mouse from Indie Horror movie site ibleedindie.

A pretty killer way to finish the year with 3 Friday the 13th items including a vinyl figure. The posters and indie horror rental codes were a nice outside-of-the-theme bonus.

If you’re a fan of all things horror, check out Box of Dread.

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Disclosure: A complimentary Box of Dread Subscription Box was given for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Cabin Fever (2016)

review-cabinfever2016-1I am not sure what people were thinking when they greenlit the remake of Eli Roth’s 2002 debut feature, Cabin Fever. I’m not sure what any of the companies who put up the money for the film were thinking. I’m not sure what Eli Roth was thinking allowing this film to be made. Perhaps all the individuals involved were thinking, “Hey, it’s been 14 years! No one will remember the original! This will be easy! We have money we would like to just piss away, this is perfect!” and from there a movie was made.

review-cabinfever2016-2When I was in college, my friends and I came across some paintings by Salvador Dali that wound up in a consignment store. The paintings were actually prints of Dali’s original work that Dali, while bored one must assume, had painted over. The end result was original art, but recycled. The remake of Cabin Fever is just that. An exact remake of the original but painted with trappings of modernity, a faded cult classic painted over and recycled. The end result is a lazy, boring and sad hour and a half of deja vu. The only thing that I can think about the film as a whole is that Roth and co must have felt that the original was a bit dated, since the new attempt mentions “social media” and “Call of Duty” and weed (no scratch that, it was in the original too), also the character of Marcy sports nipple piercings and some tattoos this time around. Like I said, it is all super modern. All the problems that the film had and all the gags from the original are still there, but they managed to remove any of the shock value that the original brought with it (even the gore did not strike me as much as the original…oh wait, that is because I had already seen it before…). I spent the entire run time waiting for one fresh or original take to make this remake worth recommending, but there was nothing. The acting is fine. The direction is fine. The visuals are crisp and the colors are sharp. These mean nothing though when you consider that you have already seen this film before.

review-cabinfever2016-3There is absolutely nothing here to recommend or to sing praise of, which is upsetting because they could have taken this film, this remake, and actually done some interesting things with it.Instead of taking away their ability to communicate with the standard issue “my phone has no service,” why not actually allow the kids to use social media to document the disease as it ate away at them instead of saving it for a ten second, random end-credits stinger? Why not let them self-diagnose their disease with WebMD? Why not try anything original at all? I don’t know. But I do know that I can save you some time. If you have already watched the original, then don’t bother with this one. If you haven’t watched the original, then, as with Dali painting over a print, I would suggest seeking out the original.   

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