[31 Days of Horror Reviews] Day Four: Joel Anderson's 'Lake Mungo'

One of the better movies I’ve seen lately is Lake Mungo, another hidden gem that’s been on my to-watch list for years.

The movie is about a family’s search for the truth behind their daughter Alice’s drowning at Lake Mungo during a family trip. After hiring a paranormal investigator, they discover that not everything is as it seems.

I’ll start by saying this: Lake Mungo succeeds in every way movies like Paranormal Activity and other “found footage” horror films fail. Rather than posing as “found footage,” Lake Mungo is presented as a faux documentary, which is an interesting way of presenting the exposition and character backgrounds without seeming cheesy. There’s nothing repetitive within this movie, nor was I bored out of my mind at any moment or distracted by my phone. This movie held my attention, and that automatically sets it aside from most of what I’ve seen in theaters over the past decade.

I also appreciated how the paranormal aspects of Lake Mungo are presented. There’s no vengeful long-haired ghost appearing for jump scares, nor is there any gratuitous violence or “destroy the [possessed object]” moment. While there are certainly a few scary images throughout the movie, Lake Mungo finds ways to turn the typical supernatural tropes on their heads.

The lack of originality in modern horror is wrist-cuttingly terrible (yeah, I said it), and Lake Mungo manages to outshine some of my favorite supernatural movies with its stylistic choice, slow-burn exposition, and resolution.

There’s not much more I can say about Lake Mungo except that it deserves a place in your October viewing.



Throughout the month of October, I’ll be reviewing 31 movies I’ve never seen before. Is there an excellent movie you think I haven’t seen? Tell me in the comments below, and I’ll check it out!