Film Review: Lake Bodom (Bodom)

Lake Bodom

Lake Bodom (Bodom) is a very entertaining horror-thriller. The film defies expectations, in a tantalising way.

In 1960, a group of teenagers were stabbed to death whilst sleeping in their tent. The crime was never solved, which led to speculation and urban legend. Years later, another group of teenagers visit the site, hoping to recreate the murder scene and discover what really happened that night…

Director and co-writer Taneli Mustonen has created an interesting horror thriller with Lake Bodom. The film is set up as a campsite horror, in the same vein as Friday The 13th and The Blair Witch Project. There is an element to the story that makes gives it a contemporary twist. Other than this, the film feels like a formulaic horror in the first quarter.

As the film progresses, viewers may begin to speculate how the narrative will turn out. At this point, Mustonen pulls the rug from under viewers. The twist in the film is neat, and injects life into the narrative. The film transforms from a horror to a thriller, in an unexpected but welcome way. The filmmakers skilfully bend the narrative so it is about something other than the original murders. Later in the film, there are more twists; each of these conveyed in a plausible yet engaging fashion.

Tension in Lake Bodom arrives in peaks dotted throughout the duration. There is sufficient mystery to capture the attention. This is heightened by the later transformations in the plot. The film is gory without being gratuitous. Production values are good throughout. Characters are depicted with enough personality to stoke interest. The obligatory red herrings are necessary in a film of this nature. Nelly Hirst-Gee delivers a believable performance as Ida.

Lake Bodom is a favourable twist on the campsite horror movie. Highly recommended for genre fans.

Lake Bodom (Bodom) is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2016.

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