The Lake (Film Review)

It’s been a short while since the last Pacific Rim film or Godzilla vs. Kong, but we are due for a good kaiju film, are we not? Straight from Thailand comes The Lake from writer Lee Thongkam who also co-directed with Aqing Xu. Although it’s a 2022 film, it is just now making its way across the Pacific to the shores of the States. Billed as a sci-fi, horror, thriller, The Lake clocks in with a one hour and 44-minute runtime and bills itself as “Godzilla’s water brother from a Thai mother!” That’s cool and all, but does it deliver?

It all begins in a remote Thai farming and fishing village far removed from the city. After a monsoon sweeps through landscape, the locals still go about their daily business, always used to the seasonal soaked conditions.  And here is where the story drifts from the film description…and yes, there will be a spoiler. During the downpour a great creature awakens from the depths of the local lake, making a snack out of any villagers who dared wander near the body of water it called home.  The problem is the film is described as “A gigantic and bloodthirsty monster emerges from a lake after its egg is stolen and unleashes its fury on a town’s inhabitants, leaving a trail of destruction and death in its wake.”

The girl doesn’t actually steal the egg until the morning after the midnight massacre.  So what caused the aquatic beast to to leave its water confines?  It’s a detail that probably should be sorted out prior to the tag lines getting published, but I digress.

The creatures, which are quite creative and striking in its design, is portrayed between a mix of CGI and practical effects.  The larger creature is about as tall as a giraffe, with a lot more mass and attitude to match.  It is important to note, the CGI is admirably delivered, bringing a convincing look and movement to the beasts.  Yet at the same time, those special effects are the best thing about the movie.

The Lake is nearly devoid of story as the 104 minutes of the film felt more like 184.  It was a lumbering beast for sure as the repeated shots of a growling animal were interspersed with the clawed remains of local monster fodder and attempted dramatic scenes meant to conjure some human emotion that failed in doing so.  People die, people live, people stare at each other longingly while a T-Rex-sized toothasaur makes its way to the city for some human jerky.

It feels like The Lake desperately wants to be Jurassic Park.  Whether that is or isn’t the case, this is one picture that took off out of the gate, but proceeded to get in its own way immediately after, then again and  again after that.


If you would like to check out the film for yourself, please head over to the Epic Pictures website to watch the film in its entirety.

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