31 Scary Movies: ‘Lake Mungo’

“Lake Mungo” (2008) – A tragedy befell the Palmers, a pleasant family from Ararat, Australia, and June (Rosie Traynor), Russell (David Pledger) and Matthew (Martin Sharpe) try to make sense of their present and future.

Unfortunately, both aforementioned time periods become terribly cloudy, when they believe that their lost family member has returned as a ghost.

Writer/director Joel Anderson structures his mystery like a documentary, as June, Russell, Matthew, and others reflect on the inexplicable occurrences, and the film also uses photos and video to reveal and retell their experiences.  In some cases, Anderson’s camera sits in a hallway and begs unearthly forces to step in front of it.  Other times, he gradually enters rooms at a snail’s pace which elevates anxiety during every agonizing second.

“Lake Mungo” is a delicate picture that elicits unsettling feelings about the spirit world, while the frank and open history of this seemingly normal family blurs the lines between feature film and documentary.

Image credits: Arclight Films; Trailer credits: horrorfest

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