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Lake Placid (1999)

Another ever so popular monster movie from the 90's that I had seen already, yet I have no recollection of it whatsoever. These creature features were all the rage when I was growing up and I'm not completely sure why, as the majority of them are quite bland, including this one. Considering this is a giant saltwater crocodile creature feature, I was expecting much more from it. With many recognisable cast members from the mid 90s, most notably being Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt, and a few breif scenes featuring the late Betty White, I really struggle to see what the attraction was to this script. Don't get me wrong, everyone does a more than competent job in their respective roles, I just don't feel this this film requires the talent it managed to acquire. Besides Oliver Platt and Brendan Gleeson's comedic rivalry throughout, there really isn't much else going for the plot of this film. Despite my lack of enjoyment, I will say I had genuinely forgotten how impressively gory the special effects are - that is for the minimal kills we see. The opening attack when Sheriff Keough drags half the body of the scuba diver back onto the boat, whilst he is still alive, came as quite a surprise. Then after that opening, nothing happens from the first 5 minutes to the last 20 minutes. The whole duration inbetween is spent with the main characters discussing what crocodiles do or don't do and is basically a lot of build up to moments that never actually come to any sort of fruition. The close up shots of the crocodile for the most part are done using puppetry, and I have to say for 90's creature feature it looks pretty convincing. It's the long panning shots of the crocodile in full motion that come into question, with less than subpar CGI effects it really is a disappointment, given how much work has clearly gone into the practical side of things. One scene in particular featuring a bear attack being the most notable of poor CGI, and the majority of the closing act where the crocodile is on land looks atrocious. Overall, this was a very mediocre experience. I loved the 90's aesthetics and feel to the cinematography, I just never felt any sense of danger or peril in the situation. Considering the quality of the cast and the moments of promise with the puppetry and gore, I cant help but feel like this film wasted such great potential that it held. If you want a crocodile film to watch then check out Rogue, it does a much better job than what this could ever have to offer.


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