Review: Lake Mungo (2008)

lake mungo

“Alice kept secrets.She kept the fact that she kept secrets a secret.” 
Kim Whittle

In 2008 in Ararat, Australia, Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) drowns at a dam while out with her family. Naturally they are devastated, but they cannot find her and a massive search and rescue party is deployed. A few days later her corpse is recovered. Her father, Russell Palmer (David Pledger), identifies it, though her mother June (Rosie Traynor) and brother Mathew (Martin Sharpe) are not present. Soon after she has been buried, strange things start to happen in the house, though initially they are chalked up to termites, wind, etc. Eventually, though, they are presented with proof that starts to make them rethink their daughter’s death. In a documentary, the Palmers lay bare their story of the loss of their daughter, the odd things in the house, the discoveries they made about Alice, the bizarre photos that depicted a ghost, as well as working with a psychic to uncover whether or not Alice had moved on.

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What is going on in the Palmer home? What happened to Alice? What does all the photographic and video evidence mean? What are they to do about it all?

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GRADE 6Here’s another one for the found footage run I have been having. I am not quite sure how I feel about this movie. On one hand, it was really well constructed, and it kept you involved, though it really looked like an exceptionally well shot documentary. It is a slow burn, which is not an issue for me, I like a slow burn more often than not. The subject material took a long time to be introduced, but it was systematic, so I liked that. When everything finally gets underway, it resonates with a sort of creepy that stays with you for a while. It is chilling without anything actually being in your face scary, yet it stays with you. The effects were relatively well done for what it was, and the actors were very good to carry to mock documentary feel, giving it a sense of realism. The concept they played with was pretty good, and there is this section at the end that in some ways made the watch totally worth it, and on the other hand it was ludicrous. There were quite a few things that were left open to question after this all, too, and some things at the conclusion were just a little bit pointless and felt like they were trying to sell some gag. Overall, definitely one of the better found footage films, though I can see it is going to divide some people. My other half, for instance, he absolutely hated everything about this movie.