Skip to content

Lake Mungo #MovieReview

When sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer drowns while swimming in the local dam, her family experiences a series of strange events leading them to discover that Alice led a secret, double life.

Lake Mungo movie review poster

Release Date: 2008 | Runtime: 1hr 27min | Genre: Horror | Source: Stream

Page break indicator for Sci-Fi & Scary

Lake Mungo Review

Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo is a movie that snuck up on me and wormed itself into me. I think about Lake Mungo a lot, especially the final moments. When I saw that the site didn’t have a review of it, I had my writing assignment chosen for me because I want people to watch this little film.

But how to talk about it without ruining it?

First, let’s talk about the form. Lake Mungo merges two different styles, documentary and found footage. The story has to do with how a family deals with the death of a teenage daughter. The documentary style is expertly presented. If you didn’t know this was a piece of fiction you would swear it was real. All the beats of a well made documentary film are present. This style is expertly used to deeply examine the grief, and all the ways it manifests itself, of all the members of the family as well as others whose life the daughter had touched. 

You want to know who loves Lake Mungo? Paul Tremblay. He’s been a one man evangelizing street team for the movie since this blog review from 2010. If you search “Paul Tremblay Lake Mungo” on Twitter, you’ll get a ton of results. He kept it on my radar screen and I’m glad I finally watched it last year, and again later last year, and again this year. (Think we can can get him to respond to this review 🙂

Lake Mungo is a very subtle movie that works its way very deeply into you. With one or two exceptions, this isn’t a movie with big audio/visual jump scares, there’s no big supernatural entity that has to be battled, there’s no climatic action/fight scene(s). It mines the vein of family drama and grief and by the end it will break your heart. Highly recommended. 

My SciFi & Scary confrere, Eliza, also had some thoughts about the movie:

“Lake Mungo uses a documentary format (and some found footage) to tell its story. It follows the Palmer family after their daughter, Alice, drowns in a tragic accident. Some strange things happen in the house. Alice’s brother, Matthew, sets up cameras. Reviewing the footage and discovering the truth about what they record will send the family down many paths. I think part of the reason why the twists and turns feel unexpected is because of the storytelling format used. It effectively works to keep you off balance as you try to guess where the story is going.

It also feels pretty realistic. It’s hard for a family to lose a child. There’s self-doubt and blame as parents question their relationship with their daughter and examine their shortcomings. Her brother struggles with loss because he was very close to his sister.

It turns out nobody was close enough to know all of Alice’s secrets, however. Those revelations will drive the narrative right to the end.

The filmmakers did an excellent job of keeping viewers off balance, wondering if the family is being haunted or if something else is going on. It touches on regret and grief in believable ways. Each member of the Palmer family tries to find meaning in Alice’s death or some explanation for it in their own way, and their efforts have a significant impact on the developments in the movie and led to a surprising conclusion. 4 out of 5 stars.”

Published inMovie ReviewsStarred Reviews


  1. My afterlife of choice would be to be the catcher in the rye for a field full of happily running and playing Alices.

Comments are closed.

©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
%d bloggers like this: