Director: Taneli Mustonen
Writer: Aleksi Hyvärinen, Taneli Mustonen
Starring: Nelly Hirst-Gee, Mimosa Willamo, Mikael Gabriel, Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä
Brief Summary: Four campers head to Lake Bodom, sight of the 1960 murders of three teenagers and one survivor. Two of these campers hoped for a night of fun while the others sought to reconstruct the events that took place on that unfortunate night. Their plans take a turn for the worst.
This film by Taneli Mustonen is inspired by events that took place at Lake Bodom in the summer of 1960. A group of teenagers set off to Lake Bodom, for the weekend with each member hiding their own personal agendas. It's a weekend getaway, but none of that cheesy/trite horror sludge that's usually associated with camping scenarios.
The film opens up with a minor briefing of the history of Lake Bodom and the horrific events that took place there. All ready the film sets up dark undertones that reverberate throughout the story and it hardly resolves. It's a story with several plot twists and unexpected turns which change the dynamics as the film progresses.
The story is focused on Ida-Maria (Nelly Hirst-Gee), who fell victim to an incident involving nude pictures of herself being shown around school. Her best friend, Nora (Mimosa Willamo), pressures her to go along on a camping trip with two other classmates, Elias (Mikael Gabriel) and Atte (Santeri Helinheimo Mantyla). I'd like to point out that Elias has a neck tattoo and is (assumed to be) in high school...is that a normal thing now days?
The gore factor in this film is minimal compared to most bloody horror movies out today which works to its advantage (less is more), so the driving factor of the film is its' characters and storyline.
The four teenagers set out on this trip with an initial agenda, but as the story moves along, layers begin to unfold off each individual. Nothing is really as it seems, and without giving out too many details, events begin to turn sinister and bloody. We get bits and pieces of horrific imagery (again, less is more) and an ending so dark, you feel sad for everyone involved.
This film is a really entertaining piece of cinema that's both dark and horrific. It's not over-the-top violent with its' single digit deaths, but it's a keen story with a set of characters worth getting to know, and wanting to know. Just be sure you're packing, next time you go camping.
Lake Bodom is available exclusively on Shudder.
Side Note: I want to learn the Finnish language now. It just sounds so comforting regardless of the context.
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