Quick Hit: Slow ghost-film that gets mixed results.
I can’t remember where I came across this film. After so many horror movie lists, I often add things to hopefully address. That’s where I came across this ghost story set in Italy, starring British actors, who are American.
If that doesn’t tell you where I’m headed with this review, then you probably don’t read my writing enough. Check out the browse page for more.
Anyways, Neverlake isn’t bad, but it isn’t amazing. The story is pretty simple – Jenny (Daisy Keeping) has left New York to visit her father (David Brandon), who is working on a discovery about Etruscans in Italy. There’s also a creepy housekeeper, Olga (Joy Tanner). The movie takes a turn to the supernatural when Jenny runs into a young blind girl nearby the lake (which is the center of nearly all the events in the movie). This leads her to a home, where a bunch of creepy children are living, sans adults.
More events occur, including some random twists, but that’s pretty much the gist of it. As the film goes, you get some elements of body horror, as well as some monster/ghost elements toward the end of the film. It’s not particularly great in the way of plot, because it consistently tells us where it is going thanks to Jenny’s consistent voice over of poetry. It’s annoying and inconsistent in the way it’s presented. There is also an extremely uneven tone to the film, due to the fact it’s part ghost story and part body horror. They don’t tie together well, at least not in the way that someone like del Toro would have performed.
That being said, there’s some really atmospheric shots throughout the movie, particularly featuring the woods and the orphanage. It breaks up the story’s momentum when they leave to show the different areas, like the different shops that Jenny’s father goes into. The zigs and zags also do the same thing – they break up the goodwill that the story has going for it. The ending also leads to some terrible, cheaply driven CGI. And that’s really unfortunate, because there is really no reason for it to be so. Where there is atmospheric horror, there doesn’t have to be more than that. But, hey, who doesn’t love green ghosts right?
In the end, I can see why Neverlake may have made it on a list – because it skirts the edge of being good instead of being terrible. I’m giving it a “C-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"