Lake Alice (2017)
Review by Fatal
is a horror co-produced and directed by Ben Milliken, making his feature debut, from a screenplay by Stevie Jane Miller. It stars Caroline Tudor, Brad Schmidt, Brando Eaton, Laura Niemi and Peter O’Brien.
The film was released on DVD in the UK on 8 May 2017 as Lake Tomahawk by High Fliers Films. On DVD now in U.S. Under Lake Alice.
Synopsis- Meeting the Thomas family for the first time, Ryan Emerson (Brad Schmidt) must prove his intentions with their daughter, Sarah (Caroline Tudor), and win the approval of her father, Greg (Peter O’Brien), while he masks his jealousy for Sarah’s ex-fling, Tyler (Brando Eaton). As the Thomases settles in, things start to happen around the cabin: strange footprints by the windows, noises from outside, and a bitter animosity from the locals, including the law enforcement.
As a blizzard descends on Lake Alice, so does the evil, as the family members are hunted down one by one. They struggles to stay alive as their power in numbers slowly dwindle…
First things first, if this movie would have been released in the 80's, it could have been marketed to the die hard slasher-hounds, like myself. You know the type, devour anything that has a body count, a masked killer and cheesy acting!
I could see it now, the sticker on the VHS would say -> "If you liked The Strangers, Vacancy or You're Next...you'll scream for this flick!".
Then you go in with high expectations, and chuckle to yourself in the end, I mean those movies rocked when they come out (especially for modern horror), but this one just trolled you and you bought it, and will most likely own it!
Despite this one falling through the cracks of horror obscurity, it is a nice little horror nugget, guilty one nonetheless. Lake Alice is not a bad movie, it just combines ideas from other great horror movies and puts them on simmer with "made for tv" acting by the cast. But don't let that keep you away, there are some great slashy elements to uncover!
I will say for the first 30 minutes, the movie is rather slow, and at an hour and 16 minutes, there isn't much time to be "developing characters", which is what the director chose to focus on. The cast is actually not bad, it's just there are storylines that go nowhere. For example, there is no reason explained as to why the local police officers in the area have this animosity for the family. It's almost as if they were thrown in to amp up the amount of red herrings the film has, and boy does it have plenty!
Once you sit tight through the first third of the film, the movie switches into home invasion / slasher territory, and it really grooves on its own. As the family is seized and separated around the surrounding snowy forest and cabin, there is some serious stalking happening. After awhile it shows there are two assailants, and there is some effective video recording from one of the creepers that was done rather well.
One of my favorite parts of the film is the aesthetic of the slashers. They both wear the fur trimmed hooded jacket (Urban Legend anyone?) with white ski mask over a black out mask. I thought it gave the movie an aspect that made it a little creepier as the "muscle" of the two killers gets the mask all bloody as he is the one chopping his way through the characters.
I won't reveal much of the reveal of the killers, but it's what seems to be biggest complaint of the film, and I honestly didn't mind it. Because I got a cheesy "Strangers" knockoff out of this movie, I didn't mind that the movie played it simple with the reveal, it sort of had a To All A Goodnight (1980) feel to it. You can tell who the killers are going to be right off the bat, and while there is one final reveal (at the end), it wasn't nothing more nothing less, if anything it was sequel-bate if the movie would have been successful, which it isn't. I'm guilty of liking the cheese, and this one def brings the cheddar. If your looking for a new slasher / home invasion movie with an old school feel, def give this one a go.