Movie Review: HOUSE BY THE LAKE

HOUSE BY THE LAKE was directed by Adam Gierasch from a screenplay by Josh Burnell and stars James Callis, Anne Dudek and Amiah Miller as a family on the edge, Natasha Bassett and Michael Bowen round out the main cast as the family’s nanny and the unsettling man down the beach, respectively.

A struggling couple, Scott and Karen, pack up their troubled young daughter and head to a picturesque lake house to reconnect and put their problems behind them. As Emma spends time with her new nanny, the little girl begins fixating on an imaginary friend she calls the Fish Man. Karen’s fear of the strange man down the beach, Emma’s fear of the water and her recurring sleepwalking continue to raise tensions in the house and drive a wedge between Scott and Karen until one night Emma disappears. When she’s found breathing underwater in the tub, Emma insists she’s been with the Fish Man. And he’s coming back for her.

The story revolves around Scott (James Callis) and Karen (Anne Dudek) who retreat to the family lake house with their autistic daughter Emma (Amiah Miller) with hopes to work on their strained marriage. Upon arrival, Emma makes a new friend that she calls the Fish Man and her parents play it off as just one of her many imaginary friends that she’s created. As the movie plays out and the story unfolds, strange things begin to happen and the stress level for this small family goes off the charts. Emma ends up going missing and panic sets in for those looking for her and this is where the mystery about the Fish Man is ultimately revealed and it’s a shocking revelation that leaves this family changed forever.

Bottom line is, House by the Lake was an okay horror-thriller but it was an extreme slowburn that some viewers may not be able to get into. The concept is interesting and how the movie plays out leaves the viewer wondering if this little girl has simply made up another imaginary friend or if she’s actually come in contact with this mysterious figure that no one else has seen. Of course, all is revealed in the final act. The cast all did a good job with their characters and director Adam Gierasch was able to capture these dramatic and unsettling performances that transfer over to the screen. This is a low budget creeper so the special effects are all kept to a minimum but there are a few here and there plus there’s a man in the suit that brings this mysterious figure to life and it’s the best part of the movie. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see enough of this creature and that’s too bad. This nightmarish thriller is now available nationwide on VOD, Digital HD and DVD and is worth a watch.

Distributor: Random Media

Run Time: 77 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

 

 

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