Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo (2008)

After the drowning death of their young daughter/sister, the Palmer’s start to experience strange occurrences in their home.  As the family learns that things are not what they appear, they come to find out that they never were as they attempt to make sense of young Alice’s life and death.

The setup for this film is superb.  It’s one of the more stark and believable faux documentaries to come out in the past few years.  The story, characters and events are all believable and the viewer is really drawn into the tragedy that befell this family.

As the film continues, the veneer is stripped away from the family as well as Alice.  With it, some of the bloom comes off the rose.  About midway through, the film shifts gears completely and destroys a lot of that suspense and asks the viewer to follow down a completely different path – but the film never really commits to the change and straddles the fence between a supernatural ghost story and a dull whodunit.  When the film once again alters course for a third act, it becomes next to impossible to invest any more belief in it.

Ultimately, this film ruins itself by trying to be too smart.  This started out to be a well-crafted mockumentary about a haunting and turned into a three-ring circus with devious neighbors, a sibling unable to cope and an entirely different clairvoyant ghost story.  None of it seems to fit together very well and in the end, the movie tries to play up the creepy factor by returning to its roots…despite having already chopped down that particular tree.

Stars: 2.5/5

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