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I can honestly say that I’m sure why a film as good as Sam’s Lake sat on a shelf somewhere for four years before finally being released. Filmed in 2005, but released on DVD in April of this year, Sam’s Lake may not be a perfect film, but it’s a pretty damn good one, and definintely better than the typical DTV fare.
Sam (Fay Masterson) and a group of her friends (including Sadrine Holt, from Resident Evil: Apocalypse) take a retreat to the lakeside cottage she grew up in. They meet up with Sam’s childhood friend Jesse, and at a bonfire they decide to start telling ghost stories. It isn’t long before Sam reveals the story of nearby cabin – apparently, a young boy was committed, but came back to murder his family, before disappearing and never being heard from again. Typical ghost story, right? Well, this one isn’t an urban legend. And apprently, this story might be about to repeat itself…
Sam’s Lake isn’t for the horror fans looking for a quick and easy horror flick. It’s not necessarily the most thought-provoking film or anything like that, but it does take a while to get going. In fact, the length it takes to get moving might be a bit too long, as you’re sure to figure out the film’s integral plot twist before it comes out. If you don’t, it’s a great one. If you do, it still leads to a pretty fun latter half of the film, leading to some very tense moments, and even more unexpected twists.
The acting is great all around, especially with a couple of familiar faces. I’d venture to say that, with some higher calibre stars, this is the type of film that could have ended up being a sleeper theatrical hit, a la The Strangers or Vacancy.
The main issue I have with Sam’s Lake is that its finale is set during the daytime after setting almost the rest of the film at night. Though it’s been proven that you can do suspense (this film is more suspense than horror) during the daytime, it really would have worked better at night.
Check out the Amazon.com link below for some pretty good deals on Sam’s Lake, or at least rent it (or do it on demand). No matter how you do it, you should definitely check out Sam’s Lake. Not the best horror film you’re likely to see this year, but definitely one worth seeing.