Thursday, August 6, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: Lake Mungo

2008, Joel Anderson -- download

This is a 'shocking reveal' kind of movie so I cannot talk about it without being spoilerish.

A mockumentary, billed as a ghost story, is how the marketing of Lake Mungo worked. But really, the movie is more about the onion skins of a family's life, as the death of a daughter from accidental drowning during a family vacation, reveals much more than they ever care to know. Its not just a simple ghost story, told through interviews and video camera footage. But it's also not a very scary one.

The slow reveal is decently done. We learn of the effect the daughter's death has on the family and their neighbourhood. The son acts out, making fake videos of his ghostly sister, because the mother feels there is a presence here. The dad distances himself. The mother cannot let go. Friends and neighbours mourn with them. After the ghost videos are proven to be fake, the family discovers something else in the footage leading to a horrible secret kept by the late daughter. And from there, we just keep on getting reveal after reveal, until we are back to... a haunting.

I don't watch a lot of documentaries, and the mockumentary style of this movie typified the ones I dislike. So much of it had me wondering, "what the fuck is wrong with this family?" The way they handle their daughter's death is so fraught with confusion and self-centeredness, I could not help feel it was a little too real for a ghost story. Or maybe it was just self indulgence on the film maker's part?  As for the scary, I benefited a bit from not knowing a thing about the movie, as Marmy discovered it via the collective opinion of the Internet. I had no clue where it was going to go. There were some possibilities of fear, but really only if you are one of those people who get a fright from the fake ghost hunting shows of cable channels past. I just found it long, and drawn out and ... boring.