Often in the world of independent horror flicks, one locates both dread and gems, and then sometimes commonplace, sadly director Elgin Cahill’s Beware the Lake falls in the latter category, with typical bullies belittling a stranger, only to become nothing more than a growing bloodless body count. Elgin’s movie, comes from Chest Tree Films production house and assisting him in the screenplay Wendy Winterbourne, luckily the movie improves on the original title which was simply called The Lake, finding successful distribution with Wild Eye Releasing.
The story starts strangely in Romania 1908 when a girl crosses path with stock footage of a bear, upon realizing what’s occurred is her father goes after the beast at night with a hatchet, (yep that’ll work). Meanwhile the mother, goes to see a gypsy to bring her daughter back to life, in strange ritual, we see the daughter approaching her and cut to present day (huh what, never mind, doesn’t matter). A teenage girl Tabitha (Anja Knebl), from Romina moving finds a job at a local gift shop, all while catching the eye of a former football hero named Mason (Jonathan Lipnicki (Circus Kane ) and offending every blonde on the cheerleader squad. Namely, captain of the squad Blair (Ava Dalgaard), thoroughly upset with her appearance, name-call her, yet she still goes along with them for some drink and fun at a local lake. Soon enough, they drug Tabitha and Blair arranges for her rape by two so-called friends of Blair’s, named Wyatt (Cody Dermon) and Charlie (Jason Knauf (Decay ), their assault goes from bad to worse and she dies and tosses her into the lake. All this sounds violent, however none of it appears that way, it’s very shoddy in the performance of the scene. Meanwhile, Tabitha’s aunt Drina performs a ritual to bring her back to life and take revenge even though she never goes to the police and no one knows about her condition. That’s the entire movie. Just a brief follow-up there’s a bit of unintentional comedy, coming from two police officers, wearing the dumbest uniforms possible, beyond fake, with badges clearly from the dollar store. The sheriff believes everyone’s crime in town is somehow related to sex. A simple rule when you don’t have the right or even proper uniform for police make them detectives hence wearing suits.
There are a few problems aside from the fat, no scares, or violence, the killing all water related since Tabitha was killed in the water. Early in the film Tabitha, is shown walking to a neighbor’s home, however the syncing is very off, as she walks we hear the knocking on a door and talking to a person, but visually she’s still walking. Then there are the cheer leaders having poor screaming lessons, as well as character speaking in the native tone of Romanian to recite a curse. One interesting aspect as remaining victim pool dwindles, they begin to figure what’s occurring namely going to a search engine, like these used in the movie:
As for those unfamiliar with Wild Eye Releasing marketing, the artwork often has very little to do with the movie, the bikini clad woman not in the movie, nor is the lake’s bottom covered in skulls. Sadly nothing here for the gore-hounds, the killing all mundane and bland in the style, some acting strives forward, but most doesn’t, merely showing the inexperience of the cast. As for the directing, it all contains standard shots, nothing standing out for dazzling effects.
The movie tries to achieve a horror tale, but falls into the element of thriller, the ambition clearly showing, but it never achieves a solid footing for the viewer. It tries to present a supernatural concept for a rape revenge, movie, however it’s best to not to combine them if there’s a lack of budget and talent, while Anja Knebl gives a solid performance, the story struggles to convince the viewers of a frightening tale.
There are secrets in the water
IMDb Rating: 3.7
Baron’s Rating: 3.5