Much as the internet lowers the barrier to entry for knuckle-dragging troglodytes to express their worthless opinions about the merit of b-movies, so too has the rise of the found footage fad allowed technically unskilled and narratively challenged knuckle-dragging troglodytes to make horror movies on the cheap. To be fair, not all found footage movies are nauseatingly shot, woodenly acted, and plotless, “Blair Witch Project” and “REC” being notably respectable.  Or take “Lake Mungo” — a relatively obscure Austrialian horror film from 2008 that I absolutely need to share with you.

Lake Mungo is not strictly a found footage movie. It is a fake documentary, with the obligatory interviews and reenactments, while substantially incorporating found footage. 16-year old Alice drowns while swimming. As her family mourns her, they begin to experience strange phenomena. Haunting images appear in photographs. They contact a psychic. Eventually they discover that Alice kept horrible secrets.

Lake Mungo is definitely scary (more in a slow-burn atmospheric way– and OMG THAT ENDING!!!), but it is also sad. It is a meditation on loss and the unknown. Can we ever really know those closest to us? Why is Australia so creepy?

The Lessons from “Lake Mungo”:

-Your teenager is probably up to something messed up right now.
-Seriously, you should be talking to your teenager right now, before she dies.
-Don’t go to Lake Mungo at night.
-Some found footage movies aren’t stupid, they can be legit means for independent filmmakers to do something awesome.

roadside attractions

  • Terrifying end credits
  • Middle aged Psychics
  • Australian Accents
  • Sadly, no Killer Kangaroos
  • Dead Teenagers
  • Ghostly Rooms




There are some disturbing shots of corpses, but this is mostly an atmospheric sort of movie.




Blurry, nothing to get excited about. Disturbing.




The beast is loss and sadness. Bummer.


Check out this trailer from “Lake Mungo”