Lake of the Dead


Horror / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1861

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January 12, 2022 at 06:51 PM


706.19 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 16 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Coventry 8 / 10

Pay attention Hollywood; it's a lesson in atmosphere!

I stumbled upon "Lake of the Dead" rather accidentally, in the DVD collection of a friend of mine who's a devoted cinephile, but in spite of the sober cover illustration and laconic plot description, it looked intriguing enough to check it out. "Lake of the Dead" is a Norwegian thriller from the 1950's, and this superficial little production detail alone was quite fascinating enough for me. Norwegian horror is uprising nowadays (with instant classics like "Cold Prey", "Dead Snow" and "Next Door" to prove it) but, I suppose like the case with most people, my knowledge of Norwegian horror movies that are fifty years or older was rather non-existent. Even in case of a worldwide DVD distribution, I sincerely doubt this film will ever become an acclaimed genre classic, but still it deserves the recognition and respect of a much larger audience.

A group of matured and intellectual friends, including writers and psychiatrists, head out to the remote backwoods for a careless holiday full of hiking and spending time together. Upon their arrival, however, the group is confronted with the ancient folklore legend of Tore Gravik. Many years ago in these woods, this mentally unstable man killed his own sister (with whom he was in love) and her lover, before vanishing into the woods never to be heard about again. Soon enough, the group witnesses strange occurrences and sense an invisible presence. Prominent intellectuals like them naturally don't believe in urban legends. Or do they? The essence of this movie's powerful and everlasting impact lies within … surprise, surprise … its simplicity! "Lake of the Dead" tells a very rudimentary story and features ordinary and identifiable people as the main characters. These people show naturally common signs of fear and hypocrisy and they do what any normal person would do in perilous condition. Another brilliant quality is the use of the breathtaking sets and locations. Director Kare Bergstrom introduces the cabin in the woods and the nearby lake like additional and vital characters in the story and they demand more than a fair share of your attention. The tone of the film is continuously ominous and the overall atmosphere is creepy & unsettling beyond description. I've rarely witnessed a movie that grabbed my attention as profoundly as "Lake of the Dead". The conclusion of the film is psychologically astounding, although probably too talkative and/or convoluted for the modern film audiences that swear by nonsensical stuff like "Twilight" and "Van Helsing". But what the hell, they are not likely to ever track down a copy of this obscure treasure, anyway.

Reviewed by morrison-dylan-fan 8 / 10

"Beware of the currents of the lake.It's dangerous to dream. Stay awake."

A few months ago I was speaking to fellow IMDber manfromplanetx, who told me about a Norwegian Horror,which so intrigued me that I picked it up on DVD,only to misplace the disc later!

This week:

Whilst annoyed that I could not find the title as I was taking part in ICM Nordic and 50's Cinema viewing challenges, I a few days ago was moving some books, and was shocked to see it appear in the middle of the pile. This led to me at last taking a dip in the lake.

View on the film:

Simmering on top of the lake as a narration pours out of Sonja reading out the first draft of her husband Bernhard's occult novel, writer/director Kare Bergstrom & cinematographer Ragnar Sorensen cloud the lake with eerie Gothic Horror smoke on the water, going far-back in order to cover the screen in the isolated forest, where beams of lights across the cabin dwellers cast a ripple of the reflecting horror lit in misty superimposed images.

Swimming towards Bernhard's novel, Bergstrom takes it out of the lake and into a Old Dark House atmosphere, where the confined large cabin setting is surrounded by excellent rustling outdoor sound effects, and wide, tightly-held corner shots light the cabin fever.

Based on lead actor Andre Bjerke (great as the slow-burn Mork) own novel,Bergstrom's adaptation delightfully carves into Norwegian wood thumbnail sketches of the tensions each group member brings to the cabin, with Liljan being given given a enticing, ghostly figure quality which the others in the cabin can't get too close to. Paging from Bernhard writing his novel to the story itself unfolding, Bergstrom merrily plays on the mythical element of Gothic Horror cinema, with a book-ending which rationalizes the occult myths which came out from the lake of the dead.

Reviewed by kannibalcorpsegrinder 9 / 10

An overall highly enjoyable supernatural thriller

Taking a special trip together, a group of friends heads out to the Norwegian countryside to visit a friend staying at their cabin in the woods and catch up with each other, but the longer they stay the more they come to believe the legends about the area being haunted and try to keep it from continuing.

This was a fantastically chilling and enjoyable effort. Among the films' bright spots is the engaging and fantastic atmosphere that manages to run throughout here. Given that the majority of the film is based on the cabin, with the picturesque lake shimmering in the reflected sunlight that's surrounded by lush trees creates an effectively eerie sense of isolation that takes the films' actions into fine context. It all comes off far more ominously than what it should with the setup employed. As we're also given an effectively eerie and chilling backstory about the origins of the haunted lake and why there are so many tragic accidents that have been present at the lake, the constant conversations about whether there's a supernatural or rational explanation for everything, and a fantastic revelation that puts everything quite nicely into perspective, the atmosphere of the film comes off incredibly well. That this setup gives the film a chance to play with some unsettling and creepy ideas to further those aspects also comes across rather nicely. With the main venture at first are the group seeing strange reflections in the lake and their strange desire to be near it while in a trance-like state, this one starts off quite nicely with its action scenes helping to enhance the supernatural themes within the story. As it progresses and the supernatural antics are more overt, this one has a lot to like with the recreation of the legend around the lake intercut with the story about what happened to the brother which creates a rather fine sense of menace to go along with the storyline features on display. These features make the film incredibly fun and hold it up overall. There isn't much that brings this down but it does have some minor drawbacks. The main flaw here is the sudden abrupt ending that just comes out of nowhere with the wholly underwhelming way it finishes. When the plan is put into motion to trap the guilty party and it plays out as they expected, the fact that we're just as in the dark about these factors as the participant makes the whole scene just feel quite chaotic and confusing. The whole thing is taken up even further with the guilty party seeming to get away with everything by disappearing into the forest without incident and taking the route of escaping the incident without getting any true comeuppance for what's going on. That also causes the secondary issue where the reveal at the end manages to make the earlier incidents and disappearances around the lake seem that much more curious about what's going on which all manage to bring this down slightly.

Today's Rating-Unrated/PG: Violence.

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