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Sixteen-year-old ALICE PALMER drowns while swimming in the local dam. When her body is recovered and a verdict of accidental death returned, her grieving family buries her. The family then experiences 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 KEMENY. Ray discovers that Alice led a secret, double life. A series of clues lead the family to Lake Mungo where Alice's secret past emerges. Lake Mungo is a mystery, a thriller and a ghost story. Written by
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LAKE MUNGO might sound like a teen flick or some camping murder spree so let me tell you clearly that this clever film is not another one of those. LAKE MUNGO is a tiny budget ghost thriller with about 4 major sequences I personally found terrifying. Actually frightening. Yes. The premise is this: a nice ordinary family in a rural town are heartbroken when their 15 year old daughter drowns at a family picnic. About a month later they realize her spirit is in her room at home and as a ghost she wanders through the house at night. The film is actually about the mind bending emotions the family experience in missing their beloved daughter but not wanting her as a ghost. And then the genuinely scary stuff starts. It is not a violent movie, nor is it a Blair Witch wannabee, it is a melancholy ghost movie with a terrific emotional dilemma and absolutely hair raising fright scenes. They film is made to resemble a 60 Minutes investigation... and uses home movies, call phone camera scenes and séances mixed with psychological settings and tape-recording confessions. I had no idea what was going to happen next and the revelations both visually and in the plot twists are astonishing. LAKE MUNGO has already been bought for a US remake but this little indie original from Australia is the real deal: a genuinely scary ghost film like THE SIXTH SENSE or the 1961 film THE INNOCENTS. I actually yelped several times in fright. And yelping is not my regular reaction. LAKE MUNGO in its present version might turn up in a horror fest near you and if you see it mis-labeled you will find it is the surprise of the event. EEK ! Remember the original 1980 film THE CHANGELING with George C Scott? Well it is as spooky as that.
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