Blu-Ray Review: Lake Mungo

The Palmer family

Whilst found footage was an intriguing concept at first, most genre film fans soon became weary of its lazy application. Indeed, whilst the likes of Rob Savage’s Host demonstrates that it still has a place in a modern online world, it’s perhaps the sub-genre of fake documentary horror which remains the more fascinating. Admittedly, there’s a lot of crossover, but the likes of Hell House LLC, Noroi: The Curse and Ghostwatch demonstrate how rich and varied it can be. The most effective is arguably still Lake Mungo.

Whilst swimming with her family at a dam in Ararat, Australia, sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) drowns. This leaves a cloud over the family, which her younger brother, Matthew (Martin Sharpe), confronts by setting up cameras around the house in an attempt to try and capture her ghost. Whilst his parents (Rosie Traynor and David Pledger) turn to a psychic (Steve Jodrell) to understand these apparent hauntings.

Lake Mungo is a fascinating ghost story which uses elements of the supernatural to enhance what is, at its heart, a family drama. It works so well because you’re never quite sure where it’s going to go next or what precisely is going on at any given moment. This sense of mystery draws the audience in to Joel Anderson’s film and keeps you off-balance throughout. Lake Mungo is an enthralling and captivating piece of genre filmmaking.  

Special features:

  • Archive audio commentary by Producer David Rapsey and DoP John Brawley
  • New audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Emma Westwood
  • Captured Spirits: an interview with DoP John Brawley
  • Ghost in the Machine: an interview with Producer David Rapsey
  • A Cop and a Friend: an interview with Actors Carole Patullo & James Lawson
  • Kindred Spirits: Filmmakers Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead on Lake Mungo
  • Hosting Spirits: Filmmaker Rob Savage on Lake Mungo
  • Simulacra and Spirits: a video essay by film writer Josh Nelson
  • Autopsy of a Family Home: a video essay by filmmaker Joseph Wallace
  • Deleted scenes

Limited edition contents:

  • Rigid slipcase
  • Perfect-bound booklet with new essays by Sarah Appleton, Simon Fitzjohn, Rich Johnson, Mary Beth McAndrews and Shellie McMurdo, interview with actor James Lawson by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas plus rare behind-the-scenes photos
  • Three collectors’ art cards

Lake Mungo is released on Blu-ray by Second Sight on 7 June.

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