If you’ve heard of Lake Nowhere, then you might be a bit surprised to see it here at NoRealDanger. “What are you doing reviewing a short film, idiot?!” you may be screaming at your screen. To that I say, “Whoa. Calm down. Take some deep breaths. Maybe have a cup of chamomile.” It’s true that I’ve never before reviewed a short film, but I’m making an exception for this one. And not just because I got a screener. (because i’m big time!) Once again, it comes down to a trailer. And the trailer for this long short (short feature? featurette?) is pretty damn good. So, let’s get into it shall we?
A group of twenty-somethings heads out for a fun-filled weekend of booze, card tricks, and party games at a cabin in the woods / on a lake. (uh oh) Naturally, they are beset by evil almost right away. But it’s probably not exactly what you’re thinking. Sure, there’s a hulking, masked killer watching from the woods. But there are even more dangers lurking in the wilderness.
A bit of a short synopsis, I admit. But it is a short (longish short) film after all. And I wanted to preserve some of the mystery / avoid spoilers. The film is presented in a way that feels like it is a VHS copy of a copy of a cable (nudity!) television broadcast. It has copious tape rolls and drop outs throughout the film. There’s even a few glimpses of home movie (i think) that peek through at times, indicating the previous function of the tape. It comes complete with a spot for another 80s-style slasher and a commercial for the beer that the young folks drink at the cabin. I assume that they are there to pad the total time, but they’re fun (and that may be too cynical). Overall, the gimmick is fun but it may have worn thin had Lake Nowhere been longer. Even if you’re not a huge fan of that particular device, the film more than makes up for it with some shocking surprises and creative kills. The first half of story plays out like most “teen” slashers from the 80s – “kids” go to cabin, get high, get drunk, have sex, get naked, get killed. But right where you would expect things to go a certain way in the story, things take a hard left turn. Oh, people still die. Just not in exactly the ways that you think they will. At least not all of them. It’s that creative twist on the familiar slasher that makes Lake Nowhere worth your time. The icing on the cake is that it won’t take up very much of your time.
The Final Cut: Lake Nowhere is a loving throwback to 80s slashers and a nostalgia piece for those of us who cherished our well-worn VHS copies of them. It capitalizes on the viewer’s familiarity with those films to deliver a few clever surprises and a fresh twist on the sub-genre.