LAKE OF DEATH- review by Liz Whittemore

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A year after her twin brother disappeared, Lillian and her friends head to the old family cabin to say their goodbyes. But soon after they arrive, eerie and gruesome events begin to occur. As the lines between reality and Lillian’s nightmares blur, she must fight both an external and internal struggle to stay alive. Is a horrific local legend becoming reality, or is the real enemy among them? Director Nini Bull Robsahm (Amnesia) took inspiration from Norway’s popular 1942 novel (and later film adaptation) of the same name (De dødes tjern), credited with sparking the country’s interest in horror. Robsahm shot Lake of Death on stunning 35mm and brought on Academy Award-winner Bob Murawski (Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell, The Hurt Locker) to edit. Starring Iben Akerlie, Jacob Andersen Schøyen, Jonathan Harboe, Sophia Lie and Elias Mun. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)

Shadow play, things coming and going, visions, all make for an interesting build-up. Add in the guy who has a paranormal podcast, the clueless boyfriend, the dickhead jock, an ex-boyfriend, the girl just trying to help, and the girl who is literally haunted by the death of her twin brother and you’ve got yourself the makings of typical haunted cabin meets local legend scenario. Although, some will say Lake of Death drowns in its homage obsession. It makes references and quotes dialogue from other horror classics, ala Wes Craven‘s Scream franchise. This is fun and playful until you realize almost the entirety of the plot is strung together from other films. Regardless, I was fully engrossed and chose to take it as flattery rather than laziness. I have to say the performances are wonderful.  What should be celebrated most? The look of the film is out of this world. The camera work is striking, as are the lighting choices. The final scenes are nothing short of visually sumptuous. Extra applause to writer-director Nini Bull Robsahm for taking the reveal over the top for serious bone-chilling impact in her storytelling. You can watch Lake of Death now on Shudder.

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