15th Jun2021

‘Lake Mungo: Limited Edition’ Blu-ray Review (Second Sight)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker, Tania Lentini, Cameron Strachan, Judith Roberts, Robin Cuming, Marcus Costello, Chloe Armstrong | Written and Directed by ‎Joel Anderson

Horror can be all about the jump scares, or all about the scares. Some though work at a more cerebral level and hits the emotions more. Lake Mungo is a horror that may be too subtle for some, but for others who like this kind of film it creates a truly chilling experience.

Filmed in a documentary style, Lake Mungo looks at the tragic drowning of sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer and how her family deal with her death. With the help of a parapsychologist, they uncover secrets she was hiding, and find Alice was being haunted by Lake Mungo.

In the film, we look at two things, that is the story of Alice herself and her family. With the family we look at how they deal with her death and how they cling on to who she was. With Alice we take the families ride through her last weeks to try to get answers to what happened to her. At the end of the film though, we see the truly haunting side of the film which is beautifully made. It is a very well created payoff that makes the film much more chilling and strangely heart-warming than the audience would have expected.

Looking at the special features, Second Sight have not let us down. Featuring two commentaries, one of them being new, there are interesting discussions on the making of the film and what it represents as a horror. The other special features include plenty of interviews, and video essays on the themes of the film, including the most important one, and that is family.

Lake Mungo is a movie that does not just go for the scares but builds up a story of a tragic death and how a family reacts to that loss. The true power of the film is that it draws the audience in and makes them care about the family, even if they make mistakes in trying to cope with the death and trying to find answers. The ending perfectly shows the tragedy of the story and manages to bring heart to a film that could have been more clinical and more focused on cheap scares.

Special Features:

  • Archive commentary by producer David Rapsey and director of photography John Brawley
  • New audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Emma Westwood
  • Captured Spirits: An interview with director of photography John Brawley
  • Ghost in the Machine: An interview with producer David Rapsey
  • A Cop and a Friend: An interview with actors Carole Patullo and James Lawson
  • Kindred Spirits: Filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead on Lake Mungo
  • Hosting Spirits: Filmmaker Rob Savage on Lake Mungo
  • Simulacra and Spirits: A video essay by film writer Josh Nelson
  • Autopsy of a Family Home: A video essay by filmmaker Joseph Wallace
  • Deleted scenes

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Rigid slipcase
  • Perfect-bound booklet with new essays by Sarah Appleton, Simon Fitzjohn, Rich Johnson, Mary Beth McAndrews and Shellie McMurdo, interview with actor James Lawson by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas plus rare behind-the-scenes photos

For those who have never seen the film, this is the perfect time to watch Lake Mungo. The horror fans that know of it and have seen it will no doubt remember how it ends, but even with that in mind this is still a good time to revisit a hidden gem of the genre. Thought provoking, heart-warming and chilling, Lake Mungo will stay with you for some time.

****½  4.5/5

The Second Sight Limited Edition release of Lake Mungo is available on Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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