By Gurman Sahota, April 20, 2017 —
Using the cool background of Finland, Lake Bodom takes viewers on a horrific trip that asks viewers how much they would do for their best friend. The film utilizes crisp scenes that use what the audience cannot see to inflict a foreboding sense of doom.
The film begins with four friends who hike out to Lake Bodom to recreate murders that took place in 1960. They hope that by reconstructing the murders, they can lure the murderer — who was never caught — to the site. However, mysterious things start to happen as night falls. There are a number of side plots, which end up overtaking the movie, but in a good way.
The suspenseful film makes use of stark contrast, flipping from one friend to another and pulling out details to make audiences connect with the friends. The film boasts thrilling action scenes as the friendships begin to unravel.
Lighting is used particularly well in the film. The theme of light makes many appearances, especially as night cloaks the campsite and the horror truly begins. Light punctuates every scene, giving viewers small breaks in between gore and adrenaline, which is especially welcome during the climax. Another wonderful tool is the director’s use of jarring snapshots to evoke a sense of discomfort, as the audience undoubtedly knows what will happen next, yet is unable to save the characters. This may just be the best part of the whole movie — as with the genre, the true horror of Lake Bodom lies with the characters who, despite doing the right things, still lose.
Though the ending feels a bit rushed, it wraps up the movie nicely, leaving a shot of another group of friends who have trekked to Lake Bodom with what is assumed as a similar goal to the main characters.
The movie ends in the way it begins — with light and a subtle sense of doubt looming alongside far shots of wilderness. For an independent horror film, Lake Bodom accomplishes the eeriness of classic camping horror flicks while also making the audience question whether it all actually happened. The sense of doubt played up at the end deliciously ties the whole movie together, making it a particularly good watch for horror fans.
Lake Bodom will show April 21 and 23 at the Globe Cinema. Tickets are available online and at the box office.