Lake Mungo - Movie Review

  • Published on Oct 15, 2019
  • UPDATE: John Brawley, the cinematographer of Lake Mungo, reached out to me on Twitter and provided this article he wrote about the making of the film. Really fascinating to read his process:
    Intro music by Aaron J. Morton:
    Chris Stuckmann reviews Lake Mungo, starring Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Directed by Joel Anderson.
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Comments • 2 454

  • Aaron Enerio
    Aaron Enerio 3 days ago

    Fun fact: this was a real documentary

  • Rb Beautylife
    Rb Beautylife 5 days ago

    Holy Sh$#. Just watched this on amazon prime. Absolutely terrifying.

  • Honney Lemmon
    Honney Lemmon 7 days ago

    OMG, I WATCHED THIS MOVIE YEARS AGO!!! I was about 10 I think, it was on t.v. cable but I couldn't remember its name!!! I do remember that it was very good tho. So happy it's finally getting attention!!

  • Razor jaw86
    Razor jaw86 7 days ago

    I watched the film and absolutely loved it (As a piece of cinema) because it was disturbing and just such an unappreciated film and is so much better than the modern CGI and jump scare heavy films we’re used to nowadays

  • finaljoses
    finaljoses 8 days ago

    Not a movie for everyone. People now need "scare" jumps to feel "horror". I swear our society standards for filmaking just keep going down the drain.

  • Joseph Palmer
    Joseph Palmer 9 days ago +1

    Damn it Chris you made me excited for a scary film but you didn't warn me of the feels!
    The scene (SPOILERS)

    where the Mum and daughters psychic sessions are intercut but they can't see each other is one of the most utterly heart wrenching moments I've ever seen

  • Tim Flint
    Tim Flint 9 days ago

    Watched twice in the last month (alone with the lights off!) and loved it both times (maybe even more on the 2nd viewing). No movie has ever scared me like this. My typical autumn horror movie bender left me desensitized and bored, even by the classics and movies I was seeing for the first time. Yet this one sent some real chills down my spine consistently throughout, where as most good horror you only get a handful of those moments. It would be creepy, then ease up, then creepy, then ease up. Perfect job of building and releasing tension. And yes, there is a scene that is the scariest thing I've ever watched, hands down. Actually for full disclosure, on my second viewing I made it about halfway through that scene and then covered my eyes. I knew it was coming and I had seen it before, yet I still had to cover my eyes. Just like Chris I had to turn all the lights on after the credits finished rolling, and honestly as I type this comment the sounds from the wind outside have been making me a little uneasy.
    So many negative reviews seem to be from people that weren't paying attention and didn't understand the movie AT ALL. People saying it's about a family trying to exploit a tragedy...did you even WATCH the movie?! I get that people have different tastes and some may find it slow, but in this particular case it really does seem that people gave up after the first half and didn't wait for the payoff.
    Ignore those people. Listen to the ones that say it's terrifying. Eat your snacks beforehand, turn off the lights, put your phone on the charger in a different room, and give Lake Mungo a chance.

  • Banisteriopsis Caapi
    Banisteriopsis Caapi 11 days ago

    This movie was a huge disappointment for me

  • Edward Perez
    Edward Perez 12 days ago

    I saw this movie today. Didn’t like it at all.

  • Zacxit296
    Zacxit296 13 days ago +2

    Guys I just want to let you know don’t be scared of this I watched this documentary and in the end credit scenes it shows the pictures it shows before but it adds extra people in there that you could clearly see in the actual movie they were not there before they edited all these pictures it’s fake

    • Zacxit296
      Zacxit296 8 days ago +1

      celicynd ok maybe they didn’t change them up but he even admitted that he edited them if he lied about it once he would lie about it twice or it is just totally fake for example the scene where it showed her seeing her future self it looked like someone made that face it didn’t even look real and why are the pictures of her not more clear she loved her family if she theoretically was still alive she would go to her family not stare at them in pictures she’s never left that coffin and she is in it right now

    • celicynd
      celicynd 8 days ago +1

      This wasn't a documentary... it was a scripted horror movie and presents itself that way (there's a cast list). However, if you're talking about the backyard shot, you're incorrect about her not being there during the movie... at 22:03, you see the full backyard photo and it's clear that she's on the right side of the photo, just like she is in the credits. (EDIT: Also, just checked the birthday scene and you can see her in the movie at around 39 minutes in, so they definitely didn't add her to the shots just for the end credit scenes)

    • Zacxit296
      Zacxit296 9 days ago +1

      That’s what I am saying they faked it she’s dead and it will always stay that way

    • Tim Flint
      Tim Flint 9 days ago

      It's not a real documentary, it's a horror movie. This isn't some Ghost Hunters BS.

  • nicodimus2222
    nicodimus2222 14 days ago

    The EXTREMELY overbearing music and jump scare orchestra stings ruined what could have been a suspenseful film. Look, if you're going to pretend it's a documentary, you can't add that stuff at all, and especially not how aggressively it's implemented here. Also, they do the same zooming in camera trick 4 or 5 times, and it gets old.

  • Efrain Entrertainment
    Efrain Entrertainment 15 days ago +2

    This is honestly the creepiest movie I've ever seen.

  • I. Wynn Wynn
    I. Wynn Wynn 15 days ago

    I am both physcked and scared 😱 to hear 👂 about and see this movie 🍿 🎥 !

  • Jeremy Schmidt
    Jeremy Schmidt 18 days ago +2

    Just finished it, super boring and not scary. Don’t understand

  • Karrington Tucker
    Karrington Tucker 18 days ago

    Just finished watching the movie it was great and thank you for bringing it to our attention

  • Jo Kilroy
    Jo Kilroy 19 days ago +1

    I’m from Ararat and this movie always gave me chills, I know Alice’s death is fictional but people have really died in norval dam I never swim there because of it.

  • S D
    S D 19 days ago

    As a Victorian, this is about as true a depiction of Australia you get in cinema. Great movie.

  • morzansreddragon
    morzansreddragon 19 days ago +1

    I find your lack of acknowledging Australia (The Country where this Film was made), Disturbing! (Much like you 'The Nightingale' review)
    WE EXIST!!!!!!!!!! What's the problem with you not knowing where something is made?

  • ko_ecim
    ko_ecim 20 days ago +1

    Chris you should review "the Poughkeepsie tapes"

  • Zachary Francis
    Zachary Francis 20 days ago +2

    the movie wasn't scary but Alice was definitely sexy

  • Zachary Francis
    Zachary Francis 20 days ago +1

    I appreciate Chris introducing me to this movie, but it was less scary than it was sad.

  • David Bowers
    David Bowers 22 days ago

    If you don't think this movie is scary or creepy you just don't get it. I loved it

    • DUB
      DUB 19 days ago

      Ending was clever, but movie overall was nowhere NEAR as good as Chris made it out to be :/ still love the guy tho obviously

  • carletonbaseball
    carletonbaseball 23 days ago +1

    Chris, you almost always lead me in the right direction. Your recommendation was the only reason I watched this movie. I could not have been more disappointed. You made this movie seem terrifying and disturbing. You never mentioned the slow burn. I didn't feel scared at all. My wife had to keep me awake. I can't understand the hype.

    • DUB
      DUB 19 days ago

      Yeah still love Chris but this was a huge miss for me

  • RavenPlaze
    RavenPlaze 23 days ago

    I love it because the whole film is a slow, tense, disturbing boil. It keeps you on the edge of your seat by presenting the evidence in a way that plays on our expectations of jump scares as the payoff. You're so wound up that when the actual payoff drops, you shit yourself 7 ways to Sunday.

  • Iad 6012
    Iad 6012 23 days ago

    It's not on amazon prime (in the UK) it says due to distribution issues this movie is not available? Or something to that effect

  • Iad 6012
    Iad 6012 23 days ago

    Love you Chris, I thought the film was well made, but it's nowhere near scary, or hardly unsettling... Its spooky... The cast is really good but the story? Meh.... C+

  • NukesVolgs
    NukesVolgs 24 days ago

    The one thing that really pissed me off was how the music was louder than the talking

  • ScienceWinsEveryTime
    ScienceWinsEveryTime 25 days ago

    Alice Palmer is obviously a tribute and examination into another character who died, was found in the water, kept secrets from everyone in her life, had a much darker side than anyone knew, and whose death was never truly resolved: Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks.
    Lake Mungo really examines the idea that resolution and closure are almost selfish and callous processes that the living indulge in so we can forget a loved one whose loss causes us pain, and that these feelings of moving on can be more important than seeing justice done on behalf of the dead. There's no justice for the neighbors, and no real investigation into her drowning. Only an attempt by the family to make themselves feel better and absolve themselves from guilt. The choice to film it as a documentary is essential as it frames the story through their eyes and their wishes, what they're willing to see and what they're willing to ignore and forget.
    Absolutely chilling film.

  • Laura Jackson
    Laura Jackson 25 days ago +1

    Not scary at all! Once they revealed what the brother was doing it was a wrap for me. I did like the documentary style. I just want to know why no one locks their doors in this neighborhood. The mom walked the neighborhood going into other people's homes at night. Anyone else concerned?

  • Archons
    Archons 25 days ago +1

    The movie sucks but there is talent to it, the way it was edited and shot and acted, it's beautiful.

  • Likunator
    Likunator 27 days ago +1

    When I watch Lake Mungo on Amazon Prime, the Movie "Collapse" starts, but under the Name of Lake Mungo.
    Am I the only one who has this problem? Very mysterious...

  • Penelope Pitstop
    Penelope Pitstop 27 days ago

    I loved this movie! Just watched it for the second time. Awesome!

  • Mike Smith
    Mike Smith 28 days ago

    I watched Lake Mungo last night based on this review, and it didn't disappoint! I watched this review again just now, and when you mention that "just thinking about" a particular scene still messes with you, I know EXACTLY what scene you're talking about. I had no idea where this movie was going. It was one thing, then it did a 180 and switched to something else, then it was something entirely different, and then it finally circled back to scare the shit out of me. Definitely a hidden gem.

  • Cathy Moore
    Cathy Moore 28 days ago

    So glad someone else finally has seen this movie! You are 100% correct. Not very many movies scare me anymore. This one just chills me to the bone!! I have learned not to watch this one alone anymore.

  • Adam Seccombe
    Adam Seccombe 28 days ago

    Damn right..aussie actors and directors rule

  • jared deswart
    jared deswart 29 days ago

    I watched this after seeing this review and I have to say it is good at what its trying to do. I love documentaries (more specific true crime and stuff like this) and it really does unsettle me. It feels authentic. Its not necessarily scary for the most part but it tends to stick, especially Alices phone was that screwed up.

  • Kyle Barnes
    Kyle Barnes 29 days ago +1

    This movie is currently on amazon prime

  • Vegeta
    Vegeta 29 days ago

    the movie is on youtube now

  • Vegeta
    Vegeta 29 days ago

    i just watched this movie...
    i've beaten silent hill 2 and 4 back when i was 10, so i never get scared. i love horror, but they never scare me.
    but this movie scared me, for real scared me. i had to turn the lights back on. and an image of a scene in the movie is burnt in my mind. i see it every time i close my eyes. i don't know how i'm gonna sleep tonight...

  • Adrian Fox
    Adrian Fox Month ago

    Thanks will watch this one now! Could you do a review of "The Entity", one of the films that gave me major creeps and seems underated and forgotten.

  • Scott Terrill
    Scott Terrill Month ago

    It’s exciting to see you review this film. I was in it. Very small role. I’m the creepy neighbour!

  • Huntour
    Huntour Month ago

    Really? I didn’t think it was scary at all. still good though

  • Sophia G
    Sophia G Month ago


    I don’t know if this is the scene that Chris is referring to but whew... the scene where you can actually see the neighbor in Alice’s bedroom. That was genuinely sooo scary for me.
    Also, the whole scene where Alice walks up on HERSELF. That is such an unsettling and scary scene.

  • _ Winnington
    _ Winnington Month ago +2

    This is why Chris has become one of my favorite reviewers. Doesn’t just review every flashy big film to try and get some clicks

  • HungryMrHamster
    HungryMrHamster Month ago

    I watched this movie with some friends this Halloween, and I knew nothing about this movie. If I had heard it was a “super scary” movie, I don’t think I would have like it as much. I don’t get scared easily, but this movie was able to creep me out because of how real it felt. Everything regarding the ghost was tame, and I find that a lot more convincing than chairs flying or demonic creatures coming at you. When the cellphone scene happened, my friends and I’s reaction was just, “what?”. It was a scene that only became creepy after thinking about it. How would you react if you were out walking at night and suddenly your own corpse approaches you? That shit is wack and unsettling.

  • TigerBloodMan
    TigerBloodMan Month ago

    No thanks.

  • Christopher Titus
    Christopher Titus Month ago

    I love good horror movies, but boy am I a huge baby. I honestly had trouble finishing this movie because I was so freaked out. I turned on all the lights in my house and was munching on popcorn the whole time trying to keep my hands from shaking. I made sure none of the doors in the house were left swung open and kept the lights going for the rest of the night and then huddled with my dog on the couch. Big baby.

  • Jesse Moreau
    Jesse Moreau Month ago +2

    Dont watch this movie if you know that it is fiction...I find myself very disappointed as I reccomended this movie to my mother who loves horror films...she didnt like it neither did I...the story could have been told in 20 minutes and there was no twist it was back to the future part 2 but terrible...sorry chris you are my most trusted movie reviewer but I dont get why you like this so much

  • Shane Johnson
    Shane Johnson Month ago

    I really enjoyed this movie it was good and I’m a movie watchin muffugger!! I have high expectations for most movies and when they come across b rated junk I usually shut them off but I’m glad I decided to stick this one out

  • Javier Sanchez
    Javier Sanchez Month ago

    It was kinda boring Chris

  • vic tea
    vic tea Month ago

    This movie actually made me a little depressed tbh but a wonderful film!

  • Sanjid Parvez
    Sanjid Parvez Month ago

    At 1:59 I think you got it wrong....initially it wasn’t about where she was that night, who else with her or whatever actually happened to her. Alice was drowned while she was swimming in their family picnic nearby at a dam. The title segment comes out later, in the 2nd half.

  • Sanjid Parvez
    Sanjid Parvez Month ago

    Inspired by your review, I rewatched it today. I saw it first time when it came out in those interesting bunch of "8 FILMS TO DIE FOR: AFTER DARK HORROR-FEST" releases. I admit, I didn't like it that time; mostly because of I was expecting it to be something else that the movie actually didn't intended to be. I thought it supposed to be a pretty eerily done, spooky feature and straightaway I was disappointed. The film is very low or ordinary in its parts of spooky moments or the 'creepy encounter' department. That's why I'm sure whoever watched it once to see some good scares they were disappointed like me and partially the blame also goes to those brief reactions that came out initially about "how scary the film is!".
    I think intentionally or not, that kind of wrong campaign generated a certain expectation & mind set for some viewers like me back at that time. And watching it after all this years, I can now see that the movie actually doesn't give a F*** about ghostly apparitions or its creepiness; it was more about coping with the loss in a family and pointing out some time-bending, intriguing supernatural aspects that it handled very nicely. It was more of a supernatural mystery rather than a typical, spooky horror mockumentary.

    Overall, this was a very fine piece of indie, film making that came out in last decade and surely deserve some more love & attention from the genre fans.

  • Nina Neher
    Nina Neher Month ago +4

    This movie is so freaky, just you reviewing it freaks me out.

  • Joe blarg
    Joe blarg Month ago

    I just watched this via Amazon, it was fine, really got that "pulling on a thread" feel as you start finding out more...and then it just kinda ends, and giving what I had heard about the movie prior to viewing, it left me disappointed. The movie is well made though.

  • Galileo Pedraza
    Galileo Pedraza Month ago +3

    I’m 26 now, but I remember seen this film when I was 17 years old with a friend of mine. Lights off, this film really creeps up on you. My friend and I couldn’t believe how we felt at the end of it. It is a great film!

  • Priscilla Asagiri
    Priscilla Asagiri Month ago +2

    This movie made me depressed. It's a slowburn movie, a suspense, investigative movie but in the end ... fuck! Good movie overall. I discovered this movie back when RedLetterMedia ( specifically Jay) mentioned it.

  • Edgars Bistrovs
    Edgars Bistrovs Month ago

    It didn't scare me. However, it is the most depressing movie I've seen. This movie is so indescribably sad, man. I saw this way before, but it's so cool that you reviewed it. Certainly deserves more attention. Got to mention that soundtrack by Murcof.
    To sum it up: for me it's a great found footage film with nods to Twin Peaks and the heavy atmosphere and memorable soundtrack like Silent Hill.

  • Vanessa Engert
    Vanessa Engert Month ago

    Thank you for sharing this movie!

  • Mohammed Suddah
    Mohammed Suddah Month ago

    Thank you so much chris for introducing me to such a hidden gem.