LAKE NOWHERE review



2016
Directed By: Christopher Phelps




Lake Nowhere is designed to look like the slasher films of the VHS heyday. Not unlike the brilliant HOUSE OF THE DEVIL this film feels like it was somehow lost for the last 30 years. The attention to detail with regards to production design, film stock and sound mixing are stunning... and by that I mean they are appropriately terrible. But this film has more going on than a horror homage Grindhouse style knock off. It takes more than video denigration and tracking issues to make an entertaining film. That sort of gimmick could carry a film through its first act but the story and characters have to transcend the visual to make this a film worth your time.

The trick to this film and what makes it so special is that its made with love. Most films like this are parody exercises made with a wink and a nod. Their only mission is to point out how dumb everything you are watching is. They are the film equivalent of a hipster wearing a shirt with a wolf howling at the moon because he thinks its an ugly shirt. Irony and sarcasm can work in small doses but when extended over the course of a 90 minute narrative its nauseating.

Phelps sets his film at a remote cabin in the woods and while he is clearly treading on familiar ground his charters and pacing give the story a sense of originality sadly lacking in many horror films. While it might sound like something of a contradiction but in aping something old Phelps has created something utterly fresh and vibrant.

LAKE NOWHERE is in no way a film for everyone. If you are somewhere between 35 and 55 years old and still have fond memories of scouring the horrors shelves at some pre-Blockbuster video store this film is for you. The movies of that era felt dangerous because it didn't seem like anyone was in charge. You didn't feel an executive's notes on every page of the screenplay. Hell, I'm not sure all of them were made with screenplays. They didn't have great acting, the sets were cheap and the look was terrible but there was a good chance you would see something you had never seen before. Made in 6 days for under 4k this is a film that not only pays homage to the spirit of those films but carries on in their implausible, gory tradition.

LAKE NOWHERE is currently available on DVD/Blu-Ray, VOD and special edition VHS!