Christopher Young (Three Beers) –
Nostalgia seems to be all the rage right now in horror. Over the last few years a lot of flicks and shows like It Follows or Stranger Things have went out of their way to try and replicate that 80’s feel while paying homage to the Carpenter’s and King’s of the 80’s. Lake Nowhere is one of the latest features to take a shot at giving us 80’s horror fiends something to scream about.
Lake Nowhere really, really wants to take you back to the 80’s, featuring a group of friends looking to spend their Halloween at a lake house and party hard. As quick as you can say sex, booze, and drug use things start to get bloody because we have a killer knocking the kids off one by one.
The movie opens with some awesomely cheesy trailers and a beer commercial. The first trailer for A River Runs Red shows a classic Giallo thriller and the second is Harvest Man which could easily be a feature ( I would watch the sh*t out it!). The opening is rounded out by a beer commercial that will make any 80’s consumer of suds smile.
It’s obvious they wanted to convey a certain era here and they did it almost perfectly. I loved the fact that the early part of the movie is plagued with fuzziness, tracking issues and even what seems to be an overdubbed home movie. This all fades as the flick moves on but really helps to give you the bootlegged 80’s VHS tape feel, I could almost smell the tattered plastic clamshell.
The soundtrack is very stereotypical of an 80’s flick and loaded with the catchy synth that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A lot of movies currently lean hard on the 80’s synth (I’m looking directly at you, It Follows), but Lake Nowhere is very careful not to oversaturate the viewers with that electronic vibe.
I am all for telling a story and keeping things as slim as possible, but all too many films add filler to hit that 90 minute mark. The movie clocks in at a meager 50 some minutes and it kind of works. Considering the trailers/commercial and credits, this doesn’t leave much time to get us on board before the red stuff starts to flow. This is a pretty stereotypical flick and it could have benefited from some back story on the kids or even the killer. I didn’t see any real rhyme or reason why he’s killing these kids and I think the runtime is to blame for the handful of questions I had.
So we have a Jason Vorhees-type killer, pretty standard stuff, but there is also some supernatural lake spirit that turns the dead into zombies? So is this lake our killer or is it a separate entity all together? I really don’t think we needed to add the living dead or the possessed lake, especially considering that fact that we have no back story on this or anything else. If you’re going to do something stereotypical like a slasher flick paying homage to my favorite era, focus on that and perfect it.
Lake Nowhere does a lot of things right and we have some serious talent lurking behind the scenes. This movie could have really used the standard 90 minute treatment. I think the lack of time also led to one of my other complaints, too many unanswered questions. Who is the killer? Why is he killing? What is the deal with the lake and the zombies? It’s like trying to jam 3 VHS tapes into one clamshell, it never works.
I really hope to see more from directors Christopher Phelps and Maxim Van Scoy; with the right budget and timeline they could make something awesome.
Lake Nowhere (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime you cringe from a kill.
Pound a Shot: each time you question something on screen.
Rip a Beer Bong: when man sausage fills your screen.