Some of the best creature features have always been the ones about animals who run amok. From Jaws to Anaconda, these types of horror movies run the gamut of realism. Somewhere in the middle of that range is Lake Placid. A crocodile gets loose in a lake in Maine and begins devouring anyone who enters. What elevates the movie into horror gold is the hilarious script and the cast that includes Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, and Betty White.
After a fish and game wildlife officer gets bitten in half by a giant crocodile while scuba diving in the lake, the main cast gets sent in to investigate. Bill Pullman is another officer from fish and game. Bridget Fonda is a paleontologist investigating the type of crocodile and why it would be in Maine. Brendan Gleeson is the local sheriff. Oliver Platt is at his hilarious best as an eccentric mythology professor.
Platt and Gleeson are truly what puts this movie in the subgenre of horror comedy. The two are as ill fitting as Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple. Platt is sarcastic and funny and completely chaffs Gleeson’s grumpiness.
Adding to the comedy is a small part played by Betty White. She had a career relaunch as the foul-mouthed old lady from 2009’s The Proposal who didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. Well, she played that exact same role in Lake Placid 10 years earlier. She lived by the lake and actually fed the croc. She fed it cows! When the authorities showed up to question her about the crocodile, she basically tells them to F-off as only Betty White can.
As with any movie with a monster in the water, the cast just can’t seem to keep themselves out of the water. They investigate by canoe, boat, and helicopter. It doesn’t matter which mode of travel they choose, someone ends up in the water every time. Each time they’re in the water, the audience is left on the edges of their seat to see if the person makes it or gets bitten in half.
Crocodiles aren’t water-bound like movie brethren sharks, though. So, every once in awhile, just to keep it interesting, the monster comes out of the water to attack while people least expect it. From cows, to bears, to humans in pickup trucks, nothing is safe.
With the mix of excitement, action, horror, and humor, Lake Placid makes for a very fun watch. If that’s not quite enough genres combined into one awesome movie, there is of course a bit of romance thrown in as you get to watch the burgeoning romance between Pullman and Fonda.
Lake Placid makes for an entertaining movie to say the least. People love being scared. That’s what makes horror movies such an enduring genre. Movies like this, though, prove people love to laugh while being scared too.
Monsters Unleashed: Lake Placid
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 8/10
Acting - 9.5/10
Music - 8/10
Production - 9/10
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