June 11, 2017

Shudder Review: Lake Bodom (2017)

"The director of this movie would make a righteous Friday the 13th flick."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3743042/
We love Slasher flicks. They usually tend to be a bit of shamelessly gory, nudity-filled fun, which might not be the apex of filmmaking, but they sure do tend to make for a good time.

Lake Bodom is definitely a Slasher flick, but its one that breaks the conventional mold. The teens in this movie aren't going to the woods to party and have sex, and therefore be punished for their illicit acts by an unstoppable killing machine, instead they're looking for answers to a decades-old murder mystery, which unfortunately for them, they find.

What makes Lake Bodom so enjoyable are the twists that it employs to tell its story. Because of those twists, we're going to keep the plot details as vague as possible, because to ruin them would be a disservice to you.

In 1960, three teens were murdered while camping at Lake Bodom, which is just west of Helsinki, Finland. To this day, the case remains a part of Finnish lore, as the murders are still unsolved. True story, you can read all about it HERE.

TEENAGERS CAN'T EVEN GO CAMPING IN EUROPE WITHOUT DYING!
Back in the land of narrative fiction... Two boys are looking to reenact the notorious murders via photoshoot, and they enlist the help of two of their hottie classmates to do so. Maybe it's morbid curiosity that makes them want to tempt fate by seeing if the killer is still out there (although nearly 45 years later, that doesn't seem very likely), but they're willing to give it a go anyway. Or maybe they're just trying to get laid.

Needless to say, things go very, very wrong for all of them.

ESPECIALLY THE GIRLS.
Lake Bodom is a fun and clever throwback to 80's Slasher flicks, that doesn't really rest on the laurels of that beloved sub-genre. Instead, the film subverts the trappings of the usual teen terror flick, and turns its story on its head not once, but twice, with twists that make things feel exciting and fresh. The first twist that the movie gives us knocked us for a loop, and kicked the movie into a higher, and different, gear. The second one, which sets up the finale, was good too, but it felt a bit underwhelming (and a bit implausible) compared to what came before it.

Maybe it's because some things happen and we get no answers as to how or why. 

The story doesn't always make sense, especially when it comes to the final showdown, or the time/distance constraints that the director conveniently ignores in order to have his killers show up where he wants them to at any time, but it certainly is slick and fun enough for us not to care all that much.

YOU SHOULD ALL RUN.
This isn't an overtly bloody movie, but there are a few kill scenes and bloody bits that work really well.

LOOKS LIKE SHE FOUND SOME ANSWERS AFTER ALL.
Nope, because they apparently don't make Slasher flicks like they used to.

OH MAN, WHAT A MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
Lake Bodom may have its flaws, but it gets so many other things right that they end up not mattering too much by the end. This is a fun, well-made flick that we hope will not be the last of its kind.

B+

Lake Bodom is streaming now on Shudder.

http://amzn.to/2sgBcu6
Nelly Hirst-Gee and Mimosa Willamo are in this.

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