Lake Dead / The Deaths of Ian Stone / Unearthed
Crazy Eights / Tooth & Nail / Nightmare Man / Borderland

STUDIO: Lions Gate
MSRP: $14.99
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

Miss Horrorfest Contest webisodes

The Pitch

Blood is thicker than water.  And some blood is friggin’ syrup.

The Humans

Kelsey Crane, Jim Devoti, Tara Gerard, Pat McNeely, Alex A. Quinn, James C. Burns, Edwin Craig, Malea Richardson, Christian Stokes, Trevor Torseth, Kelsey Wedeen.

The Nutshell

When three sisters inherit a motel, some land and a lake from a grandfather they never knew, they embark upon a road trip to check it out and discover that there’s a very good reason they didn’t know him.

Now this is some film to die for…

The Lowdown

Lake Dead is quite an underwhelming movie when all is said and done. For a horror movie, especially one to be included in the After Dark Horrorfest, there’s precious little dread produced and a tired old horror premise – a family that’s a lot closer than it should be – is retread here without adding anything new or distinctive. There isn’t a single performance that stands out and ultimately the film is about as scary as Britney Spears’ latest public meltdown. For a film that should either have fantastic scares, impressive gore, or a truly unique premise, Lake Dead has none.  The experience of watching instantly leads to comparisons with other films that have done the exact same premise much better, with this film found wanting in a big way.

“We’re gathered here today to lay to rest any scariness this film aspired to have…”

The basic premise is that three sisters, Brielle Lake (Crane), Kelli (Wedeen) and their adopted sib, Sam (Gerard), who’s a perennial screw up and a drunk, inherit an old motel by a lake that their grandfather, who was mysteriously murdered. The sisters have not been close with their alcoholic father in years and are perturbed to learn that he kept them from knowing their grandparents, although he tries, rather unconvincingly, to persuade them that it’s been for the best. Regardless, they decide to go up to the motel to check it out in the hopes of possibly selling it. Sam decides to go up ahead and promptly meets a fate most distasteful. Brielle, Kelli, Brielle’s fiance, Ben (Devoti), and three friends, Bill (Quinn), his girlfriend, Amy (Viola), and Kelli’s pal, Tanya (Richardson) go up the next day in Bill’s RV. 

“OK, wait, I think I see your problem,..yep, you’ve got something caught in a naughty place here….”

Once they get there, they meet the caretaker of the motel, Gloria (McNeeley), who tells Brielle and Kelli she knew their grandfather and has been at the motel for 40 years. She also tells them that she hadn’t seen Amy and the sisters are suspicious.  A couple of gents they don’t meet until later are inbred hulking figures, Kane and Abel, who provided the means for Amy’s early exit from living. The friends eventually camp out near the lake where Kane and Abel also make short work of half of them. Brielle and the survivors soon discover that there is a secret at the motel that’s being safeguarded by Gloria, Kane, Abel and the Sheriff (Burns), and that the two remaining sisters are going to figure heavily into its design. 

“Dude, don’t you think you’re taking this ‘hanging out in the woods’ thing a bit too literally?”

The scariest thing going for Lake Dead are of course Kane and Abel. Notwithstanding that this is a low budget film, when compared with other notable inbreds and / or mutants (Wrong Turn, The Hills Have Eyes or any innumerable other films), they just don’t impress very much, and are taken out like a couple of punks. At least they have the good sense to get a little trim from some of their hotter victims before dispatching them. Of course the big secret of the film is abundantly apparent within a short amount of time. Needless to say, there was another independent movie I’ve covered not too long ago called Bloodlines with almost exactly the same concept that did it in so much more entertaining a fashion that Lake Dead ends up paling in comparison. The death scenes in this film were uninspired, the acting pedestrian, it was directed with nary a shred of intensity and I consider this a film more one to yawn for than to die for.

“I would say that you’re f-ed, but I think that’s fairly apparent…”

The Package

The only special feature is the Miss Horrorfest 2007 Contest webisodes which details the search to find a beauty pageant / horror mistress winner to represent the festival. The webisodes come off like a bad reality show and are eminently skippable. Nothing behind-the-scenes about the movie itself, not that it’s a great loss.

She took the easy way out of this flick…

3.3 out of 10