Lake Placid

UK release date: 31 March 2000

cast list
Bill Pullman
Bridget Fonda
Oliver Platt
Brendan Gleeson
Betty White

directed by
Steve Miner

This horror comedy, starring Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda and directed by Ally McBeal creator Steve Miner, is very much like the lake in question – weird and very slightly surreal.

The film takes place around a ‘placid’ lake in Maine, USA. The opening scene is nearly identical to that of Jaws, with the ‘creature’ approaching an oblivious diver, and it is hard to work out if this is a spoof, whether it takes itself seriously, or whether the filmmakers have just simply copied the material.

The animatronics verge from the incompetent to the lifelike, and the film just ambles slowly on from there, with a crocodile hunter, a local sheriff, and a New-York biologist joining the chase.

It seems like nothing much happens, and it seemed to me that the film ended very soon after it started, yet it has a decent 90 minute running-time. The script cleverly becomes conversation-like, with actors interrupting each other and generally being very convincing in their respective roles.

This is certainly better than most of the recent ‘gore-fests’, and some of the more surreal scenes and humour would not be out of place in a Woody Allen film. Lake Placid is a perfectly decent fun-filled night out, but if you are looking for any traces of intelligence, you’d be better off in McDonalds.

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