Lake Mungo (2008)

lake mungo poster 2008 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Different take on a supernatural story

Not really a horror film if you are expecting scares

Movie Info

Movie Name: Lake Mungo

Studio: Mungo Productions

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  June 18, 2008 (Sydney Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: R

lake mungo drowning alice palmer

Tragedy strikes

When Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) drowns while on vacation with her family, her family Russell (David Pledger), June (Rosie Traynor), and Matthew (Martin Sharpe) try to come to terms with her death.  When they begin to suspect that Alice isn’t dead, a psychic named Ray Kemeny (Steve Jodrell) tries to help them reconnect with Alice…but the secret of Alice’s death and her experience on a camping trip at Lake Mungo could expose the truth.

Directed by Joel Anderson, Lake Mungo is an Australian mockumentary-supernatural film.  The movie premiered at the Sydney Film Festival and was released to positive reviews.

lake mungo family haunting australia

Your average family

Lake Mungo had some buzz around its release, but I honestly I often confused it with Eden Lake (2008).  I finally saw the picture and rather enjoyed it.  Unlike a typical found footage or horror film, the movie turns into a typical supernatural drama instead.

The movie is presented as a documentary, and it is very decent type of documentary because it is believable.  The movie comes off as some type of show you’d find on the Discovery Channel or something.  Throughout the film you keep expecting a horror twist with a vengeful ghost or something, but it just comes out as a supernatural experience for the characters.  The ghost isn’t malevolent…which is actually a pleasant change.

The key to a lot of these documentary style films is to find a cast that doesn’t seem theatrical.  They have to seem like everyday people.  The movie does a decent job doing it.  The “characters” come off as normal people.  The movie does work as a result.

lake mungo alice ghost

What did she see at Lake Mungo?

The style of the film also is in line with the story.  It is a bit of a “found footage” film, but the film has production value since it is supposed to be a special or a documentary.  This means that there doesn’t have to be a lot of special effects, extreme visuals, or big shocks.  The spirits in the film are often just glimpsed and in an interesting aspect of the storytelling, a lot are dismissed in the course of the film.

Don’t go into Lake Mungo expecting a terrifying event.  The movie is more of an unsettling film with a real feel “ghost story”.  It is about death, dying, and the unknown.  It is a nice classic supernatural story that reminds you that all ghost stories aren’t horror stories.  Lake Mungo is worth visiting.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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