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It’s time to jump start this blog again, again. Sometimes it’s a bitch for me to watch a new movie every day and have it be something worth writing about. Sometimes I can’t even do it every week, or even every three weeks.  But with a questionnaire to fill out, even if it’s a minor meme, all I have to do is provide the content.

Everyone likes a list, right? And everyone likes a fill-in-the-blank test. Hell, it’s even a multiple choice test, technically, since the answers  from which to choose are all in my mind. Best of all, this isn’t just any old 30 Day Movie Challenge; this is the 30 Day Horror Movie Challenge.

Day 1: the best movie you’ve seen in the last year isn’t even a question I have to think about. I’m almost done with this test and ready to sit quietly and read or sleep until the end of the class period, because I saw Lake Mungo within the last year. Lake Mungo is the type of movie I have to be careful when writing about because it shouldn’t be spoiled for anyone, yet I’m on a mission to make sure every horror fan sees it. It’s all that a good ghost story should be and more.

When Alice Palmer drowns on a family picnic at the lake (not Lake Mungo itself; that shows up later) her surviving family has to not only try to figure out what happened, they have to deal with how much they didn’t know about her life. Also, she may or may not or may be a ghost, there’s some psychic phenomena and there’s some absolutely stunning cinematography. Standouts in my mind are the long shot of the family van driving home backwards (transmission trouble) after her body is found and many time-lapse shots of the night sky, as well as the ceiling fans in the church.

This is the rare horror movie that makes you look away from the disturbing parts not out of disgust but out of pity. It can be interpreted in different ways by different people, or in different ways by the same person upon multiple viewings. Even though parts of it are inspired by Twin Peaks, it just makes you appreciate Twin Peaks that much more for inspiring Lake Mungo and Lake Mungo for taking a different approach to a similar story.

Lake Mungo is the friend you have the best time with even when you’re sober. It’s the new lover you want to be cool with, but not so cool that they don’t know that you’re writing their name on every page of your black book. It’s a new dish that immediately becomes comfort food. It’s enough to make an aging cynic gush.

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