by Victoria Irwin
Lost Lake opens with the sudden and rather violent murder by shovel death of a local traveler photographing the abandoned city of Lost Lake. If you’ve ever driven through a small abandoned town on a road trip, you know the kind of place we’re talking about; ramshackle sheds, rusted tin roofs, burned down garages. Enter Tricia and Jeff, a young couple from Los Angeles with their wedding only a month away. After not receiving an RSVP from her rather odd Uncle Vern (Ezra Buzzington), Jeff (John Shartzer) and Tricia (Katie Keene) head to his last known whereabouts; the abandoned town of Lost Lake. The two quickly discover that there is something sinister in the town, and it has no intention of letting them leave.
The visuals in the film are incredibly well captured. Abandoned grocery stores, crumbling trailer homes and the vast wasteland of the desert all set a rather unsettling backdrop to the story at hand. Jonquil, the lone remaining resident of Lost Lake, stands patiently waiting outside various dilapidated buildings; the perfect elderly silent companion to a murderous ghost. While the gore is kept to a minimum, there is a scene where a finger is severed mid point with a well placed machete chop. This was laughably unbelievable, as either the wielder of the machete would have to have incredible aim for such a perfect cut. Honestly, if a man was wielding a machete at you would you really stand perfectly still and point an accusatory finger at him?
The tragedy is the characters in this film are actually likeable! Keene and Shartzer play a believably loving couple. Every single time Tricia is injured, I felt that uncomfortable twinge of regret for her situation. It was more like watching the director get revenge on their ex-girlfriend via the silver screen. Jeff and Tricia react with the legitimate concern of two people with a relative behaving oddly, moving back and forth between wanting to protect Uncle Vern and wanting to run as far away from his brand of crazy as possible. Buzzington’s performance as creepy Uncle Vern was horrifyingly believable. Buzzington is able to transfer the character of the Uncle to a possessed murderous monster seemingly instantaneously. The change in his voice and facial expressions
The music for the film seemed more distracting that enhancing to the film. While during rather gruesome or tense scenes seemed well scored, playful scenes of the main characters driving or living their lives were given seemingly comical songs that honestly distracted from the story.
The film is currently available from Amazon Instant Video or Google Play.