Watched a surprisingly creepy and interesting film last week, Lake Mungo, a low-budget Australian psychological thriller, a ghost story told in the form of a documentary.
Sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer drowns while swimming in the local dam. When her body is recovered and a verdict of accidental death returned, her grieving family buries her. The family then experiences a series of strange and inexplicable events centred around their home. Profoundly unsettled, the Palmers seek the help of psychic and parapsychologist, Ray Kemeny. Kemeny discovers that Alice led a double life. A series of clues lead the family to Lake Mungo where Alice's secret past emerges.
The first twenty minutes really felt like a doco to the point where if I'd been flicking channels, I would have been really confused. Even the news footage used a real station logo, a regional channel that I have access to, which made things even more bizarre.
I'm not a big fan of creepy movies, thrillers, horror movies etc, so I don't know how this compares in the genre but I was creeped out and quite relieved to have commercial breaks to remind myself it was just a movie. There are no overtly scary scenes, it's all in what's half-seen, what might be seen. I thought that made it more unnerving. I finished watching and immediately went to the computer and played cheerful music and did not look in mirrors until I was feeling less creeped out.
Grief, family, secrets, how well do you ever really know another person ... not new themes but I thought the setup was really good and your perceptions of what might or might not be real were constantly shifting. And in the end, one mystery might be solved, more or less, but the rest ...?
Yeah, I thought it was really good. The actors were amazingly convincing. I never felt like they were acting, they really seemed like people being interviewed for a documentary, not overplayed at all.
(Lake Mungo is apparently going to be remade by the same people who remade The Ring. WTF??? It was made in 2008, it's an awesome film, why the fuck is it being remade? Why not give it a wider release? Oh right, because it's Australian *eyerolls so much*)