Thursday, August 02, 2018

Lake Nowhere (2014)

*kisses fingertips*

Coming in at a mere 50mins long (including the amazing fake trailers and ads at the start) Lake Nowhere is a small but perfectly formed homage to 80s slashers, complete with its own deliciously weird spin on things.

If you're old enough to be nostalgic about watching scary movies on VHS and all of the character-building little details it involved, like murky visuals, tracking lines and glitches, then this film is something you're going to want to check out.

Written by Ryan Scott Fitzgerald and Christopher Phelps, and directed by Phelps and Maxim Van Scoy, Lake Nowhere keeps it simple but strong in two important aspects.

Story. A group of friends (and a dog) arrive at a remote lakeside cabin for the weekend and set about merrily exploring, chopping wood, and settling down for a couple of days of fun. They drink, smoke some pot, have some sex - the usual.

What they don't anticipate is a masked killer lurking around outside (cue lots of cool POV peeping shots). To say any more would give too much away... but rather like a micro budget version of The House of the Devil, this largely sticks to well-worn horror paths. Where and how both elevate themselves above mere imitation and remain an actively enjoyable watch, is due to the fact they're so clearly made with a deep love and understanding of the genre.

Lake Nowhere gets so much, so right. Plus there's also enough of a twist in the tail to still shock.

One of my favourite shots.

Style. I've never had a movie so perfectly mimic the behaviour of VHS, to the point where ancient muscle memory kicked in and I almost found myself reaching for the remote to try and stabilise the playback.

To the haters on Amazon leaving bad reviews because of the picture quality: I truly pity your misunderstanding of this aspect of the movie! ️🤦

The titles and soundtrack/score too, are spot on. Bright red words glare at us over grainy shots of the shoreline, and the upbeat rock music played by the kids sits perfectly next to scuzzy atmospheric electro.

I debated showing the screenshot directly above, but want to draw attention to what a simple, eerie choice this was to have the killer's eyes upside down when shown. These shots are extremely creepy as they punctuate the film. Genius idea.

This is honestly the kind of horror movie that makes fans want to make movies. It took a little over a year from concept to screen; was funded by the makers themselves and an Indiegogo campaign, then shot in just 6 days at a last minute back-up location. Lake Nowhere is a solid gold example of creating something beautiful if you have the guts to go for it.

I wrote simply "YES" and the end of my notes for this.

Seriously considering buying one of the posters from their aptly dated looking official site.

See it, see it, see it!

I watched on Shudder but it's also available on Google Play, Amazon Prime and Vimeo.

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