Teenagers, a lake, and a serial killer! This week we talk about Lake Bodom!
For those who may not know. The Lake Bodom murders occurred June 4th, 1960 when two 15 year old girls and their 18 year old boyfriends went camping at Lake Bodom. During the early morning hours on June 6th an unknown assailant entered the camp and stabbed and bludgeoned the campers. One of the boyfriends managed to live, but was found in critical condition.
Lake Bodom, also known as Bodom for the Finland release, tells the story of four teenagers, Ida, Nora, Atte, and Elias, who go to Lake Bodom to re-enact the murders that took place there 40 years ago in hopes of uncovering new evidence.
Things are off to a rocky start as Ida is trying to recover from the humiliation of having nude photos of her leaked throughout the school. Tensions are further heightened when they arrive and discover that there is no cabin. The boys lied to them and they will be spending the rest of the night sleeping in a tent, just like the original campers.
After they all go to bed, Nora has to use the restroom and heads off into the woods. Afraid of her being alone, Elias tags along to look out for her leaving only Atte and Ida. Atte and Ida have a discussion about the nude photos of Ida that were leaked and this is where the movie starts really picking up by going down and unpredictable path of twists and turns.
The movie was written and directed by Tuneli Mustonen, a finnish filmmaker with a background in Finnish features and television. I applaud his confidence as a storyteller and director for this film. The story is not afraid to take similar slasher tropes from a wide array of films and mix it up. His style reminds me a lot of James Wan films as he uses a lot of steady moving shots.
Critically, the movie is very well reviewed standing at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. User reviews have been harsh with only a 41% approval rating.
Champions of the film cite plot twists, cinematography, and overall bringing a breath of fresh air into the slasher genre as the best things about Lake Bodom.
Critical reviewers point out that they didn’t feel attached to the characters. Without caring for the ones in peril, why do we keep watching. Another review mentions that this is too much of a ripoff of Friday the 13th.
In my own personal opinion, I think that last person may have watched a different movie. I found this very different from Friday the 13th other than the beautiful shots of the lake. I do agree with the characters not being likable, but without giving too much away, I feel that this is supposed to be the case and maybe a sense of comeuppance.
I personally feel like Lake Bodom was a great film with stunning visuals. Some parts were predictable while others weren’t, but ultimately it was something different. The movie is currently available as a Shudder exclusive so subscribe and give Lake Bodom and my last review Found Footage 3D a watch.
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Come back next Monday for the next review in our Movie Club.