Sam’s Lake (DVD Review)11 Apr, 2009 By: Angelique Flores
‘R’ for violence and language.
Stars Fay Masterson, Sandrine Holt, Stephen Bishop, Megan Fahlenbock, Salvatore Antonio, William Gregory Lee.
From the producers of Twilight and New Moon, Sam’s Lake is part supernatural thriller, part slasher flick. The feature-film debut from writer-director Andrew C. Erin features a solid cast and some genuine, gory thrills.
Kate, Dominik, Melanie and Franklin leave the city to accompany their friend Sam to her family’s cabin in the woods where she grew up. Sam’s father recently died in a hunting accident, and her friends have rallied around her for a sort of moral support weekend.
Over a campfire, Sam and her friend Jesse tell their visitors about the local legend of a mentally ill boy who killed his family after escaping from a psychiatric hospital. Since the massacre, he has never been found and others in the area have turned up dead with fingers pointing toward him.
The film starts out slow, taking a long time to set up the story and give color to some of the characters, without building any tension. The characters are supposed to be like a close-knit family, but it seems they’re still getting to know each other. Some of the dialogue is forced, a little campy and is obviously there just to give background and tell the audience what’s going on. And certain plot elements the characters try to explain are just confusing.
However, the film finally gets going with edge-of-your-seat action nearly 45 minutes into it, when it starts to unravel into a bloody slasher film.
Some parts of the film are a little cliché for a horror film, such as the woods setting, the scary-but-true story around the campfire, the group of young adults being hunted, and the oddball guy at the convenience store telling the visitors “it ain’t safe.”
But there is a good plot twist toward the end that shakes things up a bit.