After the bitter disappointment that was Tobe Hooper's Crocodile I felt obliged to review it's much preferred and noticeably more mainstream counterpart, Lake Placid.
Steven Miner is an experience director and has undertaken other genre projects in the past such as House, Friday the 13th Parts 2 and 3 and Halloween H20. All of which have certain comical elements and so who better to helm this story.
A story of a man who is eaten alive by an unknown creature in Lake Placid, well that's what it would have been called if the name wasn't already taken. Local Game Warden (Pullman) teams up with a New York paleontologist (Fonda) to find the beast. Added into the mix is an eccentric philanthropist with a penchant for 'Crocs' (Platt) and a humourless and often cynical local Sheriff, played by Brendan Gleeson.
Fonda is extremely good here and shows she can handle these kind of comedic roles with great expertise. Pullman and Platt are equally good. The stand-out of the bunch though has to be Gleeson (28 Days Later, MI:2, A.I.). But they all do a great job at interacting.
The shocks, scares and other premeditated tension building is all executed well and has the right kind of mix. A great deal of the action takes place either in the lake or just on the banks. This was a good way of keeping the necessary levels of tension in the back of the audiences mind as it gave a suitable element of enclosure and an unsettling feel of claustrophobia. This was felt especially during the scenes that actually took place on and within the lake itself.
It's all very tongue-in-cheek and yet another example how laughs and scares play so well together, principally when it comes to breaking tension at necessary points. Yet another enjoyable romp.