HORROR: 1hr 27min
STARRING: Talia Zucker, Rosie Traynor, David Pledger
Spooked: from left, Sharpe, Pledger and Traynor
In December 2005, 16-year-old Alice Palmer (Zucker) drowns in a dam near her home in Ararat, Victoria. Her body is recovered, autopsied and buried; her parents, June and Russell (Traynor and Pledger), and brother Mathew (Martin Sharpe) grieve. But this is not the end. When the haunting of the Palmer household begins, as described by witnesses to camera in Joel Anderson’s realistic mock-doco, it is creepy, bewildering and, to June, paradoxically hopeful. After Alice shows up in her bedroom and in photographs and home-video footage, the Palmers call in a psychic (Steve Jodrell). It’s then that the plot twists and turns.
More than a simple ghost story, Lake Mungo is a tracery of secrets and a discomfiting case for how little we can know about the people we love. Just as Alice reveals herself to her family in snatches and flashes after her death, so this delicate evocation of loss evolves towards a moving and spooky resolution.