Told in a documentary style format mixed with found footage, Lake Mungo tells the story of the Palmer family who tries to cope with the loss of her daughter after her untimely death during one of their days out.
A month or so after her death, they start to experience odd occurances in their house. They start sensing a presence assuming it’s their daughter. This gives the mother a new hope that maybe her dautgher is still out there and hires the help of a local psychic who helps them discover things they never expected or wanted.
I’ll keep the summary very brief since there are a lot of twists and turns which I do not want to spoil.
Lake Mungo came in the time where found footage type horror movies were thriving. Paranormal activity, REC, V/H/S but unlike them, it delivers a completely different story.
On paper, it might not seem that scary or special but the thing that differentiates it from many other movies is the execution. It is done so well that at times I found myself thinking that it might actually be a real documentary. The acting and writing was done perfectly to convey a story like this. You could feel the pain and suffering of the parents from the other side of the sceen. And that’s what made it feel much more authentic and in turn much more effective than your regular run of the mill horror movie.
As the movie progresses we join the family on their journey of finding out things about their daughter which they never thought would be real with many unexpected plot twists. We see them slowly break down as they face maybe their biggest fear, the fact that maybe she did not know how much they loved her and missed her. Perhaps that is why they wanted a psychic in the first place.
But that’s not the only strong point of the movie. In an attempt to get some answers, the brother, Matthew, sets up cameras around the house. Much to their horror the tapes begin revealing images of ghostly figures all around the house. This is where the creepy side of the movie comes to light. It takes this concept where most other movies would take the route of demonic presences or jump scares to a different direction. A calmer, more atmospheric direction. But that is just what made it so unsettling. It’s a very unique ride.
Final verdict: 9/10