This Finnish slasher follows four friends who take a camping trip to a location famous for the slaughter of campers by an unknown perpetrator years ago. As the friends fall victim to an unknown assailant, they must determine the identity and whereabouts of the killer before they become victims themselves.
Lake Bodom Review
For a majority of the films we've seen from overseas (in any direction), we've been impressed by the cinematography and storytelling. There seems to be a higher priority for substance in European films, that is, when they aren't trying to breach the boundaries of human decency in the most grotesque of ways (A Serbian Film, that's a nudge at you). Lake Bodom comes across like it was destined for this quality, knew it, so settled for less.
Bodom somehow misses the mark while fully attempting to aim at the target. In many ways, Bodom parallels the plot structure of Cub, which was a similar premise and its own slasher commentary. But where Cub succeeded in being a one-of-a-kind parody in form and function, Bodom falls into the trap of cliche amidst homage that makes boredom linger.
It is difficult to put my finger on what exactly the issues were with Bodom, but I'll take a stab at it. The bland script and lagging plot made the twists and turns less impactful and the moments of terror virtually impotent. It plays like one of those second-rate American thrillers with the brooding nature that never quite hits you, and less like the slasher films of yore it was appearing to manipulate.
There were too many moments of useless dialogue and entire scenes that didn't make sense or impact on the story. I couldn't bring myself to give one lick about any of the characters. The story wasn't meaningful or engaging. It wasn't clever enough for satire, parody or roast-like homage. It was just there.
And by that I mean it was standard fare. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I've come to expect from across the Atlantic. I merely wasn't impressed, but certainly wasn't repulsed by the product either. I just hope that Europe can maintain its geographical advantage to keep from being poisoned by some of the schlock turned over here in America. They have a higher percentage of success with fewer tries. It evens out in the end, but only as long as their batting average stays high.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 5/10