Kickstarter Movie Review – Lake Eerie
The latest film on my list of supported projects on Kickstarter, Lake Eerie is less horror and more a mixture of suspense and sci-fi. It was written by Meredith Majors (who also stars) and directed by Chris Majors (the duo is currently working on a new film, Echo of Evil).
The plot of Lake Eerie is in some ways slow to develop, but a lot of that has to do with the deliberate choice to reveal things sparsely rather than poor pacing. Kate Ryan (Meredith Majors) is recovering from some personal losses and crisis and has moved from Idaho to the shores of Lake Erie for a new start. She chooses an old house, including all the aged furnishings and belongings of the prior owner. Although it has been taken care of, the home has been unoccupied since the 60’s. Soon she learns the prior owner was an archeologist who was investigating some curious artifacts. And quickly strange things begin to happen, leaving Kate to try and decide if her mental instability is rearing its ugly head, or if she is being confronted with forces she cannot explain.
The real gem in this film is without question Betsy Baker, who plays nosy and eccentric neighbor Eliza. Horror fans might recognize Betsy’s name, but if you don’t, her most famous role was as Ash’s girlfriend Linda in the original Evil Dead. Even to this day fans encourage her to thrill them with her “We’re gonna get you, we’re gonna get you, not another peep, time to go to sleep” chant. In Lake Eerie, Baker is a tour de force, savoring her scenes the way a wine aficionado enjoys a rare vintage. It helps that she and Meredith Majors have very good on-screen chemistry, dancing between friendly banter and strained frustration.
The great Lance Henriksen makes an appearance as Kate’s father, left back at the Idaho farm and worried about the well-being of his troubled daughter. He doesn’t get a lot of screen time, which is a disappointment. Henriksen is in many ways a next-generation Peter Cushing: he can play a range of characters and no matter how goofy the dialogue he might be given it sounds believable and powerful when it comes out of his mouth.
If I have quibbles with Lake Eerie, the first is in some of the supporting cast. Anne Leigh Cooper as Eliza’s niece Autumn has to jump between excited, upbeat college kid to serious researcher and she never really finds a comfortable middle ground between the two. Ben Furney, in his scenes as Kate’s former husband, seems like oil to Kate’s water; they simply don’t carry any believable emotion as a loving couple.
My other complaint would be the resolution of the story. Admittedly a portion of this is because they wanted to leave an opening for a possible sequel. So I can allow a partial pass for that transgression. Obviously I can’t give you a lot of detail, because I want to avoid any possible spoilers.
Lake Eerie isn’t Hellraiser or Poltergeist quality, but it didn’t have the budget or commercial backing for that kind of punch. But it is enjoyable, so if you get a chance to pick up the DVD or watch it on Amazon Video or some other On-Demand service I say go ahead.
Oh, and Victoria Johnstone as “The Countess” can visit my nightmares anytime.