Four friends, Kip (Chris Cimperman), Megan (Anna Shields), Grace (Catharine Daddario) and Tommy (Thomas Brazzle), decide to get away from the ol’ rat race and hoof it to one of those secluded cabins (this one located in upstate New York) we all know and love, with the idea of guzzlin’ booze being of the upmost importance.
But that plan goes to shit right quick as their car breaks down en route… but a chance meeting with a bizarre drifter named Thomas (Dylan Grunn) results in their car getting fixed, and the trip resumes with Thomas now in tow… and we are off to the races cats n’ creeps!
After some good ol’ drunken antics, a photo of the group turns up… but no one knows where it came from, or who took it as everyone present is in the picture… and soon more strange pictures of the group appear… as does an old man (John Willoughby Noble) who claims to be Kip, who went on a food run and never returned… and then normal-aged Kip arrives…
Lake Artifact is one hell of a surreal journey into a drunken Twilight Zone and while it isn’t perfect it nevertheless gives the viewer plenty to try and wrap their monstrous lil’ minds around!
One of the checks in the success column is the world building present in the narrative courtesy of writer/director Bruce Wemple. Under his eye, Lake Artifact becomes a wicked whirling dervish of cults, found footage interviews, malleable time and space, and even some splashes of full on comedy. It’s a decidedly heady hodge-podge, but man oh man does it offer plenty of mythology… but there are some sacrifices to be made to cram all of that craziness into a nintey six minute runtime.
One of the biggest flaws in this film is the fact that there are plenty of plot points that are never brought to anything remotely like a satisfying conclusion. Whether being intentionally vague to let the story have a lasting sense of mystery, or to set up a sequel, this failure to clarify things can be frustrating at times.
That being said; Lake Artifact is a fantastic horror/sci-fi hybrid and will surely appeal to lovers of the aforementioned Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits… just don’t skimp on the Genesee as you indulge in this surreal fright flick!