LAKE MUNGO (2008) Reviews and overview

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Lake Mungo is a 2008 Australian psychological horror mockumentary feature film directed by filmmaker Joel Anderson and starring Talia Zucker.



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…



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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This is a film that is best gone into knowing as little as possible. All I can really say at this point is that Lake Mungo is quite simply one of the greatest found-footage horror films ever made and it frankly a travesty it is not regarded as such. Check this one out.” Flickering Myth

“The realistic documentary feel is just one of many things to commend Lake Mungo. There’s a real M.R. Jamesian ‘corner of the retina’ sense of things lurking in the corner of the frame, especially once the film itself starts to point them out. By halfway through you’ll be searching every shot but Anderson’s direction is clever enough that you only ever see what he wants you to.” House of Mortal Cinema

“The cast of relative unknown Aussie TV actors are excellent and totally immersed in the characters and their stories which combined with the great direction makes Lake Mungo a very well made and carefully crafted piece of creepy cinema made all the more powerful by its truly real feel.’

“A great deal of the strength of this film comes from its cast, who improvised their dialogue based on plot points they had to hit. If this is what improvisation can achieve, why bother with scriptwriters? Another aspect that merits praise is the look of the film. Anderson and his cinematographer have a knack for choosing just the right angles and lighting tones for their interior shots.” JettisonCocoon

“Lake Mungo’s horrors are far more disturbing as they center on very real fears of both the living and the dead. Even more impressively, it does a superb job of conveying the pain and turmoil a family experiences following the sudden, premature death of a loved one.” CinemaBlend

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“Unfortunately, when the 84-minute film is broken down, it features no more than about three or four real scares, most of which are disappointingly trivial. Honestly, though, this doesn’t really seem to be a film that wants to scare its audience. Instead, Lake Mungo is a picture about the grieving process, as seen through the eyes of your average family.” IGN

“Impressively aided by David Paterson’s clever, haunting and spare score, plus Craig Carter’s exceptional sound design, writer/director Joel Anderson creates a highly charged mood throughout, and John Brawley’s cinematography blends seamlessly with some of the most effective visual effects I’ve seen in a supernatural thriller.” Urban Cinefile


Cast and characters:

Talia Zucker – Alice Palmer
Rosie Traynor – June Palmer
David Pledger – Russell Palmer
Martin Sharpe – Mathew Palmer
Steve Jodrell – Ray Kemeny
Tamara Donnellan – Marissa Toohey
Scott Terrill – Brett Toohey
Helen Bath – Helen Bath


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