Lake Placid

Today, I doing something a bit different. I'm reviewing this entire series of movies. From the first one that was made in 1999 to the most recent 2012 entry.


The original. It is surprisingly not bad for a monster movie. The effects are well done (for a late 90s movie) and the creature is shown effectively in glimpses and then in full later. It has the feeling of someone who wanted to produce a Jaws in Maine. So, it had a few big name actors doing a reasonably good job with their roles.
I've never been a big Bill Pullman fan, but he is a relatively good actor (when compared to the likes of Bill Paxton, for example). And he does an okay job here. Bridget Fonda is likewise a middle-of-the-range actor, but she does the best you can hope for with what is ultimately a very predictable character. Brendan Gleeson does a very good job - especially when interacting with Oliver Platt. Betty White is tremendous, "This is where, if I had a dick, I'd tell you to suck it."
For mindless entertainment, it gets a good rating.

3.0/5


Lake Placid 2 (unrated) is an odd duck. It stars John Schneider, if you can call it starring, and it has Cloris Leachman in the role abandoned by Betty White. Cloris does a good job in the role of the old lady who is clearly even more mental than her Betty White counterpart. The whole thing reeks of a made for TV movie, and I would think that it was if it weren't for the gratuitous nudity in a couple of scenes. The special effects were SyFy channel quality, which is to say they sucked really hard.

0.5/5


Lake Placid 3 sets the expectation level low right off the bat with a SyFy logo. From there, the caliber of skinny dipping young couple is likewise dramatically worse. The most common attack from the previous two movies - someone being dragged by their feet into the water to be eaten alive - makes substantially less sense when the gators are about normal size.
The special effects are about what they were in the last film. The storyline is a tiny bit worse, and the acting is about what you'd expect.

0.25/5


They didn't call it Lake Placid 4, they called it "The Final Chapter," and we can hope. This is the first proper sequel in that it actually picks up where the third one left off. That's odd given the fact that this gets yet another new local sheriff and "experts." And the first thing they think of is, "Hey, why don't we send three people out on the lake without backup again?"
But things take an odd turn when Freddy Kruger shows up. I did not see that coming.
So, the caliber of acting is actually a notch up from the third one. The storyline is also a bit more believable overall. The little things still cause issues though - like the idea of someone taking a medium caliber bolt-action rifle hunting a beast that is estimated at up to 30 feet. All in all, it was an improvement on the third one - and actually better than the sequel. If they make another, I'm not watching it.

1.25/5

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