Review: Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo is a movie that snuck up on me and wormed itself into me. I think about Lake Mungo a lot, especially the final moments. When I saw that the site didn’t have a review of it, I had my writing assignment chosen for me because I want people to watch this little film.

But how to talk about it without ruining it?

First, let’s talk about the form. Lake Mungo merges two different styles, documentary and found footage. The story has to do with how a family deals with the death of a teenage daughter. The documentary style is expertly presented. If you didn’t know this was a piece of fiction you would swear it was real. All the beats of a well made documentary film are present. This style is expertly used to deeply examine the grief, and all the ways it manifests itself, of all the members of the family as well as others whose life the daughter had touched. 

You want to know who loves Lake Mungo? Paul Tremblay. He’s been a one man evangelizing street team for the movie since this blog review from 2010. If you search “Paul Tremblay Lake Mungo” on Twitter, you’ll get a ton of results. He kept it on my radar screen and I’m glad he did. 

Lake Mungo is a very subtle movie that works its way very deeply into you. With one or two exceptions, this isn’t a movie with big audio/visual jump scares, there’s no big supernatural entity that has to be battled, there’s no climatic action/fight scene(s). It mines the vein of family drama and grief and by the end it will break your heart. Highly recommended.

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