Film Rec’: LAKE MUNGO. Loved this film. As ever I might be the last person I know to have seen it, but it was worth the wait. What the Aussies have lost on the cricket pitch they have gained in horror film making (ie this and SNOWTOWN). I found this film eerie and sad, and superbly acted. Great script and editing I would say too, because more than anything I admired the narrative, the very structure of the story within the documentary format (anyone who’s read LAST DAYS will know how keen my interest is there) as well as the timing, duration and examination of the clever revelations. The sense of authenticity of the actual haunting seems to have been created predominantly by digital film and photography too, which has been such a great innovation in horror film making. Really good split between the realist acting of a family in crisis through retrospective interviews, and artful home recorded set pieces. Thinking of THE IMPOSTER and CATFISH which were true stories in documentary format, but stranger than most thrillers and horror films, and looking at LAKE MUNGO in the same light, which was as convincing as those two documentaries, I’d like to see far more horror films adopt this approach.
Ultimately, I went to bed sad but inspired. Three of my favourite films are now Australian takes on the weird, horror and the supernatural: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, SNOWTOWN and LAKE MUNGO.
Shame films like this don’t feature more often at slumber parties etc, rather than generic slasher flicks. This really caught a vibe of the estrangement and complexity of adolescence in young women, as did PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, whereas SNOWTOWN did the same for traumatised young men (as opposed to THE LOVED ONES which I found a tad feckless). What struck me about all three of these Australian films was how good they were at depicting youth vividly, and in an emotionally engaging way, without over-egging the pudding or becoming immature (like nearly everything I’ve glanced at on BBC3). Take the HOLLYOAKS gene out of films about youth and (like with CITADEL) you get more insightful and affecting films.