New this week on DVD, on iTunes, and On Demand!
aka THE DARK LAKE
Directed by Adam Gierasch
Written by Josh Brunell & Mike De Trana
Starring Anne Dudek, James Callis, Michael Bowen, Amiah Miller, Lee Garlington, Natasha Bassett, Mark Berry, Guy Nardulli, & Jon Fedele as the Fish Man!
Find out more about this film @HouseByTheLakeMovie and on Facebook here
Fantastic stories through the eyes of a child are seen as unbelievable to her distracted parents until it is too late in this CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON riff by filmmaker Adam Gierasch (who also directed the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake a while back).
When Karen (Anne Dudek) and Scott (James Callis) decide to visit Scott’s childhood lake house for the summer, Karen is worried the change might be too stimulating for her autistic child Emma (Amiah Miller). But her therapist recommends it and with a live in nanny named Gwen (Natasha Bassett), they end up moving to the home where Emma immediately begins drawing pictures of the lake and it’s fishy inhabitants. With the weight of having an autistic child heavy, Karen and Scott fight incessantly, not realizing Emma’s attraction to the water is growing. When Emma disappears, her parents freak and blame a creepy old dude (Michael Bowen) who keeps inviting Emma over as the culprit, but it turns out something much worse is in the lake and it seems no one knows about it but Emma.
A large portion of HOUSE BY THE LAKE is a family drama, but a supernatural menace is looming large in the background the entire time. Gierasch delivers a subtle tale of terror and spends a good portion of time allowing the viewer to invest themselves in this terrifying situation where a family doesn’t really understand the threats that are approaching. This makes for an intensely structured small scale film—one reliant on strong performances from the actors and an ever present and hovering dark mood than slam-bang special effects. There are some real shocking moments littered throughout this one and once Emma goes missing, you’re right there in the intensity with the parents.
Resolving in a rather melancholy fashion, HOUSE BY THE LAKE is a tale of horror by inches, ratcheting up the suspense until the last exhausting frame. With a likable, yet flawed cast (spotlighting Anne Dudek’s formidable acting prowess as her performance is unlikable, yet understandable due to the pressure she is under), this is a story that hits home hard. There is a monster out there in the lake and the snippets we see of it are pretty impressive given the low budget of this one, but it’s the investment Gierasch ratchets up higher and higher that makes HOUSE BY THE LAKE something to see.