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Lake Mungo 2008

R CC

When sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer drowns while swimming in the local dam, her family experiences a series of strange events leading them to discover that Alice led a secret, double life.

Starring:
Rosie Traynor, David Pledger
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

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When renting, you have 30 days to start watching this video, and 48 hours to finish once started.

Rent Movie HD $3.99
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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Horror
Director Joel Anderson
Starring Rosie Traynor, David Pledger
Supporting actors Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker, Tania Lentini, Cameron Strachan, Judith Roberts, Robin Cuming, Marcus Costello, Chloe Armstrong, Carole Patullo, John Dunn, Laurie Dunn, Kirsty McDonald, James Lawson, Phillip Boltin, Glenn Luck, Simon Wilton, Charles Armytage, Helen Bath
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Lake Mungo" is an unsettling and unreasonably absorbing movie, one that ingenuously merges the structure of a documentary, the mystery of a detective story, the character development of a drama, and the suspense of a horror movie. It's genuinely good, but because it lacks gore, violence, nudity, and action, I suspect it will not be met with universal praise within the horror community. Like last fall's surprisingly effective "The House of the Devil," this is a film that should be commended simply for having audiences in mind other than teenagers with short attention spans. Rather than assault you with slasher tactics, writer/director Joel Anderson has the temerity to have the characters talk directly to the camera; if we do find ourselves frightened, it's not because something has jumped out at us but because we see the terror, grief, and confusion on everyone's face.

That's the greatest achievement of this film: It takes conventional ideas - poltergeist activity, buried secrets, premonitions, strange deaths - and humanizes them. Not even the brilliant "Paranormal Activity" could put a face on either of its leads; all effort was put into building a sequence of events. "Lake Mungo," more polished and varied in its approach, is edited in much the same way as a Discovery or History Channel special, with a group of people giving on-camera interviews for a team of filmmakers documenting a supposed case of suburban haunting. At the center of the investigation is sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker), who drowned mysteriously in December of 2005 while picnicking with her family.

Not long after her funeral, odd things begin happening at the Palmer residence. Noises are heard on the roof and outside the window.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I am glad I took a chance on this movie. However, other viewers should know this is not really a horror film. It is more of a ghost story filmed in mockumentary style, it is slow (but purposely so), and there are no real jump out of your seat moments. It is, however a compelling and thought-worthy piece about how one family handles their grief when their daughter drowns...and how they react as they begin to unravel her secrets. The supernatural element and strange coincidences (which get stranger as the movie progresses) are very well done - low-key enough to continually engage my curiosity without hitting me over the head with too obvious attempts to creep me out.

I gave this movie the full amount of stars because, as a fan of real documentaries, I was truly impressed with how authentic the filming was here. The actors are superb (the father especially, I never once caught him "acting"), and the filmmakers made me feel as if I was truly seeing into the tragic loss and coping of the family, grandparents, and friends. The character relationships are carefully and thoroughly developed (including some beautiful , if sad, commentary on relationships between mothers and daughters). Don't rent or buy this one expecting "Blair Witch" or "Paranormal Activity". This one is perfect for a slow, rainy day, with time to mull over both the family dynamics and the mysteries surrounding the daughter's death later.
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Format: DVD
Lake Mungo is the kind of "documentary" you might see if you watched an episode of Dateline NBC. The feeling of authenticity is what makes it is so effective. Zombie attacks, serial killers, jump scares, and vengeful ghosts no longer do it for me. I am not easily startled have been desensitized to all the tricks of the horror movie trade. I have watched many horror movies and very few have been able to tap into the fear center of my brain. Both JUON and The Ring did so a decade ago and there have been a few others along the way I'm sure. I am pleased to report that Lake Mungo is a contender for one of the eeriest, most unsettling films I have ever seen. I find myself still thinking about it and I have been unable to shake the insufferable feelings of dread and sorrow the story induces. It is difficult, almost impossible to convey why the story is so chilling. Everyone ponders their own death from time to time. This film somehow manages to capture our worries about mortality and use them as the driving force behind the story.

In Lake Mungo we literally look fear in the face. The story works because it feels genuine due to the convincing documentary structure. More than once I had to remind myself that this was pure fiction and not a real family. I watched this alone in the dark and by time the closing credits rolled I didn't want to leave my chair. The gurgling noises my refrigerator occasionally makes became a ghost in my mind. The furnace kicking off deep in my basement was surely death coming for me. Lake Mungo is the opposite of films like Final Destination. Rather than loud, in-your-face, gory silly stuff, the film gets under your skin in an insidious manner until you realize that you have been holding your breath.
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Format: DVD
Beneath its spooky surface - a brilliant imitation of a TV-style documentary on a possible haunting - this movie is really a harrowing look at grieving: about how we deal with loss, and how a shattered family tries to put the pieces back together, after the death of a loved one. There are no easy answers, and no solutions to the ultimate mysteries the movie raises - though the conclusion of the story is completely satisfying. As other reviewers have noted, it's not a gore-fest, and nothing jumps out at you - but I found myself, when it was over, wanting to watch it all over again, to see how cleverly the film-makers had maintained and raised the tension throughout. And I also wanted to see again many of the truly beautiful and haunting images - including time-lapse shots of the "haunted" house against a changing night sky... or the ominous movement of the camera down a quiet but possibly terrifying hallway. This movie is truly unique and quite an achievement.
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