Lake Mungo
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Sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer drowns while swimming in the local reservoir. When her body is recovered and a verdict of accidental death returned, her grieving family buries her. Then, they begin to experience a series of strange and inexplicable events centered in and around their home. Profoundly unsettled, the Palmers seek the help of psychic and parapsychologist Ray Kemeney. He discovers that Alice led a double life. A series of clues leads the family to Lake Mungo where Alice's secret past emerges. Lake Mungo is a mystery, a thriller and a ghost story told in documentary form that… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"a sophisticated, adult tale that blends complex, compelling emotions with reflexive commentary on film as a 'medium' of memory, manipulation and magic... a classic supernatural enigma, once seen never forgotten."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"An after-the-fact faux-documentary about the death of a young girl -- and the creepy little hints she may have left behind."
‑ Scott Weinberg, FEARnet
"It's actually very nicely done, using untrained actors and the documentary form disconcertingly well to destabilise audience expectations at a number of points. Is there a ghost story? Why is the family so rattled? What's happening?"
‑ Julie Rigg, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"Anderson's use of the documentary framework is an inspired choice, since it lends what we're seeing an air of reality that helps build the tension to jangling point."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"This superbly constructed and executed film gets everything right, to the smallest detail, as it draws us into the imagined scenario."
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"And don't deny yourself the film's final creepy images - stay for the credits..."
‑ Simon Foster, sbs.com.au
"It's not so much scary as spooky (except for one really creepy moment) but this ghost story is less about supernatural hauntings than human secrets and lies."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seanax.com
"It may be overstating it, but Anderson's command of cinematic language is right up there with Bryan Singer's audacious bag of tricks in The Usual Suspects."
‑ Dov Kornits, FILMINK (Australia)
"As a ghost story, the underplaying of the actors helps to make the mystery creepily effective, but the mockumentary format is a bit of a cop-out because it allows the filmmaker to avoid all the big dramatic scenes."
‑ David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)
"The film conditions you to doubt, growing less suspenseful, less atmospheric, and less frightening as it progresses."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"It's actually quite difficult to imagine that this isn't a true story, and that the actors playing the tragic Palmers are not exactly who they say they are."
‑ Brian Holcomb, CinemaBlend.com
"The entire film may be a construct but the skilled direction, writing and acting give Lake Mungo a spooky 'realistic' authenticity."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"Every time this slow-burning thriller appears to be running out of wick, Anderson's screenplay drops in an unexpected twist with impeccable timing."
‑ Anders Wotzke, Moviedex
"Genuinely compelling, this mock documentary from first time feature director Joel Anderson builds on its wonderfully eerie mood to deliver an enigmatic ghost story, family drama and story about a teenage girl with secrets."
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
More reviews for Lake Mungo on Rotten Tomatoes