Movie Review: Lake of Death (2019)

July 15, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Lillian (Iben Akerlie) just can’t get her missing bro Bjørn (Patrick Walshe McBride) off her mind… so much so that she keeps seeing visions of his ass while her and her vacuous pals plop their asses down in that hoary ol’ horror biz chestnut; the isolated cabin in the woods.

Along with that, bizarre-ass shit keeps going on that causes that gaggle o’ goofs to start blaming each other for the outre happenings… though something more sinister and supernatural may be to blame!

Based on the 1958 fright flick from Norwegian director Kåre Bergstrøm (itself an adaption of Andre Bjerke’s 1942 novel of the same name); writer/director Nini Bull Robsahm’s film updates the tale, while adding a stylish flourish that looks tight as fuck (thanks to Robsahm’s eye as well as the work of cinematographer Axel Mustad and editor Bob Murawski)… but there a few bumps on this joltin’ journey boils n’ ghouls.

For one, this flick is by-the-numbers Hollywood thriller stuff, and there is really nothing here that makes it stand (severed) head and shoulders above the stalk n’ slay competition narrative-wise, not to mention there’s a bit of a shit taken on the mentally ill… and if you find incest too cringe-inducing for your horror biz fare, you’ll definitely want to take a powder on this one.

Also, from doing roughly 1.2 seconds of intensive scholarly research (via that revered ancient tome of learning; Google); I saw that the original recipie dealt with some ghostly folklore… yet here it’s relegated to some throwaway dialogue… what gives?!!

As it stands, Lake of Death looks fantastic and is amazingly competent on every level from acting to score… I just wish it could have kept some of the elements that made it uniquely Norwegian, because that would have made this one to remember… rather than a solid watch you may not revisit anytime soon…




Lake of Death is now available exclusively on Shudder.

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