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Overall Rating
2.75

Awesome: 7.32%
Worth A Look: 24.39%
Average: 23.58%
Pretty Bad25.2%
Total Crap: 19.51%

8 reviews, 75 user ratings


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Lake Placid
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by Dust For Eyes

"Too much to fit in one movie"
3 stars

What was David Kelly thinking? The creator of Ally McBeal (among other things), the king of all that is quirky and introspective decides to make a film about a killer ultra-mega-mecha-reptile? Ally McBeal meets Ally Gator.

How Kelly was going to handle this meeting between All That Is Thin and All That Is Teeth created a genuine interest in this film. Actually it is a crocodile, not an alligator. A slight difference - flatter snout and the teeth thing - and it is doing things with a slight difference that Kelly has in mind with 'Lake Placid'.

Kelly (Fonda) is an anthropologist at a museum in New York when things turn on their head. No, a crocodile does not come rampaging through the museum. Her co-worker boyfriend dumps her for her best friend who also works with her. That will sound familiar to the Ally McBeal watchers.

Before things turn ugly, her recently designated EX-boyfriend 'suggests' (i.e. forces) her to go up to some lake in Maine where a diver was found having been attacked by an animal of unknown variety. There was a tooth found and maybe she can identify it. She is more of an in-doors kind of researcher. This is not her brief, but with the break-up she needs to get away from the immediate area. So she gives it a go.

She heads up to Smallsville, Maine, and meets up with the Local Sheriff Type: I (Gleeson) and Rugged Handsome Hero / Love Interest Mk.: IV (Pullman) - the local ranger boss. They head off to the lake with a few others to see if they can identify the animal responsible for the attack. Before they are sure what is the animal responsible, the seriously obnoxious, Psycho-Scientist/Wacko-I'm-On-The-Side-Of-The-Croc Version: 4.7 (Platt) roars on to the scene flying a croc paint-job helicopter. He says that it is definitely a croc responsible for the attack and he wants to have an encounter with the magnificent animal.

It was going to be interesting to see what Kelly would do once he was able to stretch his wings a bit and make a film.

This film was not what people would have been expecting. That is something, it seems, Kelly likes doing.

Apart from the unexpected, what was he trying to achieve?

This film has the expected killer creature clichés lifted shot-for-shot from horror films of the past. Kelly then adds some character depth and some genuine humour.

Why?

Should they go together?

Would you want them together?

It is all a bit mis-matched like ice cream with snow peas.

This film has horror of a fair standard, good humour, and characters with a bit of depth. All good things on their own, but together you just want more of one, and leave the other two aside.

The choice of director does not help. Miner has done the expected line of slasher films. The second and third parts of 'Friday the Thirteenth', the rather good if I recall 'Warlock', and the recent 20th anniversary edition of 'Halloween.' To my fell-off-the-chair astonishment he has also done 'Chicago Hope', 'The Practice' (where he would have met up with Kelly), 'Dawson's Creek' and 'The Wonder Years' (no, I can not believe it either - I am not making this up).

If you wanted a clash-of-styles director for your clash-of-styles film, you would hire Miner.

This film has over-stretched itself and fails (just) to mix these poles apart styles.

There are some good things about this film.

The cinematography of Daryn Okada shows off the beauty of the New England area, there are some genuinely funny lines that Kelly has penned, Fonda doesn't do too bad a job as Kelly, the croc design and effects are good, and Betty White as Mrs. Bickerman is fun.

It is not enough though.

'Lake Placid' is an amusing, not-scary-at-all horror, with reasonably written characters. If you want any of those features though, pick one at a time. See a film that does one of those things one at a time and to a much higher standard.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1554&reviewer=166
originally posted: 10/26/99 23:34:57
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell lame lake flacid is more like it 1 stars
10/25/14 PAUL SHORTT PREDICTABLE AND TEDIOUS 1 stars
2/18/13 Kcaj really doesnt deserve the bad rep it got! 4 stars
9/30/12 roscoe Good, but too brief. An entire middle act seems to be gone. The conclusion is rushed. 3 stars
1/28/10 Jeff Wilder Feels like something that had a narrow escape from the direct to TV market. 2 stars
8/30/09 Julian Great mixture of humour and thrills 4 stars
6/08/09 art IT"S A MIXTURE OF JAW"S AND ALLIGATOR,EQUAL:"S SUCESS! 4 stars
8/13/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 1 stars
12/16/07 Jason Good value entertainment. Great salt water croc effects too. 4 stars
4/23/07 David Risser BORING 2 stars
1/08/07 Anthony Feor The comice effect of this movie really makes it good 4 stars
10/05/06 Booksworm I was rooting for the gator. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Quit with the f%*#ing Jaws rip-offs already, sh*t!!!! 1 stars
8/09/06 Doreen It was okay...NOT great. 3 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Bestest action. B grade 4 stars
3/29/06 Dk Funny and well acted. Scary to 4 stars
8/12/05 ES One of my favourite monster movies= it ain't winning awards but its funny and well done 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Shit! 1 stars
5/28/05 tony ok movie i would watch it again. but they should improve on the plot and characters. 3 stars
2/20/05 Jeff Anderson The crocodile effects are well done & locations are great, but cast & script both SUCK!!!!! 2 stars
1/03/05 Sweetgrrl1972 Way better than a film about a killler crocodile should be thanks to great writing/acting. 5 stars
6/01/04 R.W. Welch Another clunky Jaws clone tho entertaining in spots. 2 stars
4/06/04 fff f 1 stars
3/17/04 HorrorMovieFan very boring, gay plot, not scary. hmmm... that seems to me a total krap movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/20/04 john a really fun idea but themovie is just incoherent! 2 stars
2/06/04 c.r a ok movie , with some killer scences! 3 stars
1/02/04 Teran Chrysler I liked it. 4 stars
12/08/03 Samuel not all that good, but decent... 3 stars
9/03/03 Charles Tatum One of the most sarcastic pics ever made 4 stars
7/22/03 Double G A good plot and story but the "monster" should not have been a crocodile. 3 stars
7/08/03 nr i thought it was a great film and the actors did great 5 stars
4/10/03 someone very exiting-It kept my attention! 5 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Just plain asinine. A talented cast wasted. 1 stars
9/22/02 Morally Sound Very boring and not that funny. 1 stars
8/05/02 KMG I DIDN'T NEED TO HEAR BETTY WHITE CUSS 3 stars
7/16/02 JesseL Of this type of movie, GREAT 4 stars
5/16/02 The Skating Peppercorn Yodelers Sporadically OK; Bridget Fonda worried about wiping her ass with poison ivy funniest part. 3 stars
3/25/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Very bleh!! But I still watched all the way through. Doesn't serve up much. 3 stars
1/15/02 Murray Castles Good fun. 4 stars
9/06/01 Gary Entertaining but the complete lack of suspense is painfully obvious. 3 stars
8/08/01 Leave Me Alone Stinks like yesterday's diapers 1 stars
7/08/01 Gracy Lionheart Boring. Predictable. Still better than some things out there. 2 stars
6/22/01 Dave I was so disappointed this looked like something great - ohh wellll... 2 stars
5/03/01 Dom Corleone completely pointless 1 stars
4/12/01 Andrew Carden Lake Placid is one big mess of a movie. Extremly silly and mindless. Horrible acting. 1 stars
4/08/01 Dundee The crude granny routine is the worst convention Hollywood ever conceived. Terrible movie 1 stars
3/03/01 Jacob Myers Fake and Flaccid with Rose from the Golden Girls with the potty mouth 1 stars
2/26/01 bum hole joe great 5 stars
2/11/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Grrrrrr... 2 stars
1/29/01 Gray Works as a comedy, but it could've been much scarier 3 stars
10/08/00 BirdBrain Funny but scareless and pretty boring. 3 stars
10/06/00 Scorpion Guting This movie was a kick @$$ movie. I would like to see it again at the theatres! 5 stars
7/11/00 Bender Enjoyable, because of the sharp sarcastic humor 4 stars
7/10/00 Elvisfan I was rooting for the alligator to eat all the annoying actors...there are several 1 stars
4/10/00 punkass I laughed more at my mothers funeral. More proof USA has a humour bypass 1 stars
4/07/00 SID It's very funny; well written. But it seems like it's two minutes long. 4 stars
4/04/00 Matthew Bartley Don't throw heads at me! A lot of fun 4 stars
3/20/00 arnold pure shit but good special effects 2 stars
3/16/00 fire-n-ice was good and Betty White was a funny foul mouth*hahahhaha* 4 stars
2/12/00 Add Funny as fuck not that scary but an enjoyable waste of 82mins without a doubt 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Not enough carnage to suit me. Bah. Betty White was a trip, though. 2 stars
1/07/00 Murray Castles A lot of fun. Better than Deep Blue Sea. 4 stars
11/28/99 Joel Harwood Shits on JAWS and pisses on Deep Blue Sea 5 stars
11/24/99 Murray Castles A fun film. Not serious in any way , and the better for it. 4 stars
9/22/99 John Rizzo Two words: "Lake Flacid." Terrible acting covered w/ mediocre effects. 1 stars
9/12/99 Ratso Let me just say that you get to watch Betty White feed a cow to a giant alligator. 5 stars
8/19/99 KK Lousy, Lousy, Lousy. Funny one-liners, but that's about it. 2 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan Fun movie...had some humor...but not enuff blood or guts! 3 stars
7/25/99 Ah Dooey not good 2 stars
7/23/99 Orgazmo The scariness is lost in the black waters, but I laughed and I was entertained emensely. 3 stars
7/23/99 PhilmPhreak Pretty funny, good rental 3 stars
7/21/99 Jim Fay The movie that answers the question "Who would win if an crocodile fought a helicopter? 3 stars
7/20/99 Imagoner A bad rehash of Anaconda, which was a rehash of Jaws, etc., and bad FX 2 stars
7/16/99 Jo Jo, The Idiot Circus Boy It wants to be on Disney. 1 stars
7/16/99 Starry Knight mediocre effects. Boring parts. Slow but some funny parts. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Jul-1999

UK
  N/A

Australia
  28-Oct-1999 (R)


Directed by
  Steve Miner

Written by
  David E. Kelley

Cast
  Bill Pullman
  Bridget Fonda
  Oliver Platt
  Brendan Gleeson



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