Review: GREEN LAKE (2016)
Green Lake is the largest of the two freshwater lakes on the island of Hawaii. Residing in the crater of an extinct volcano and reputed to be bottomless. It is a beautiful place, and the legendary Mo’o is tasked with keeping it that way. When a group of friends decides that it would be the perfect place to do shrooms they awaken its wrath.
The 36-minute short GREEN LAKE is a cheerful throwback to films like CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, with its amphibious creature wreaking havoc on those who would defile its domain. Unlike the Black Lagoon’s Gillman, the Mo’o is a supernatural being, which does change the dynamics of things a bit, but the feel is much the same. This extends to the creature being a person in a suit, not CGI. Like the older classics, it’s also light on gore, relying on its script, camerawork, and atmosphere for shocks.
Director Derek Frey has helmed many shorts and worked as a producer on a number of features, several with Tim Burton, such as ALICE IN WONDERLAND and DARK SHADOWS. His experience shows in the finished film. Frey has referred to shooting GREEN LAKE as his “mini-Apocalypse Now” due to how difficult it was. A quick look at the cast and credits shows everyone was filling multiple roles in front of and behind the camera. The results were worth it, as the film pulled in a huge number of awards in its festival run.
Frey remains proud of his film, and its message. “It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding, and I’m so proud of the result. Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the consequences.” And he’s put the film up on a streaming site where it can be seen free. And you can’t beat free, especially for a good film. And GREEN LAKE is a very good film.