------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------
LAKE PLACID 3
Directed by G.E. Furst
Courtesy of Sony Pictures
I have to admit: I’m not usually a big fan of sequels. I mean, don’t get me wrong…they do have their place in film. And some sequels are even fun. But overall, they just don’t do much for me.
Fortunately, LAKE PLACID 3 is one of those fun films, a welcome addition to the creature-feature family. In case you missed the SyFy Channel debut a couple of weeks ago, here is the plot courtesy of imdb:
A game warden moves his family to Lake Placid, once the site of deadly crocodile attacks. Locals assure him the crocs are gone, but his mischievous young son finds a few baby crocs and begins feeding them. They quickly grow into very big adults and start attacking the game warden's family and nearby town.
The acting in LAKE PLACID 3 is superb, with lead-actor Colin Ferguson mixing a perfect blend of humor and seriousness for his role as the game warden. This grim wit is seen throughout the movie and often freshens up what could have been a stale script in certain scenes. Michael Ironside is there as well, delivering his low-toned, gruff responses to play off of Ferguson’s humor. And Yancy Butler, who I’ve always enjoyed, gives a stellar (if not over-the-top) performance as a rugged tour-guide. Although she’s not introduced into a third of the way into the movie, she was one of the key components that made the movie for me.
The film is shot very well, with many steadi-cam visuals that help create suspense. I’m a big supporter of steadi-cams, as long as they’re done well, and LAKE PLACID 3 pulls them off perfectly. I also enjoy shots that employ movement in the camera instead of just sitting stationary; this film does not disappoint in that aspect either.
Director G.E. Furst did a great job of capturing the same spirit as the original LAKE PLACID as well. Few sequels out there can do such a thing, with many just rehashing the original film’s plot. Not so with LAKE PLACID 3. Furst immerses us in the same type of suspense that caught our collective breaths in the first film, but then takes us to a new level by adding a couple of surprises throughout the course of the plot.
But while the movie was a success in my book for entertainment value, it did lack in a couple of aspects. The primary fail for me was the lack of ‘real’ crocodile props. Every croc seen in the film as far as I can tell is computer-generated. And, although visual technology is staggeringly realistic, nothing can substitute for the ‘real’ thing. So when I see someone dragged across a lakeshore in the ‘mouth’ of a croc, but there’s no blood or even apparent contact between said beast and its victim, I find it hard to be actually concerned for the character of the dilemma. CG has its place, but this was not it.
Overall, though, I have to highly recommend LAKE PLACID 3. It’s a fun, blood-filled romp, complete with cocky campers, cockeyed jokes, and cranky crocs. Fans of creature-features will certainly enjoy this installment of the LAKE PLACID trilogy and might even find themselves hesitant to trek into the water for a while.
LAKE PLACID 3 is set to hit DVD on October 26th.
CLICK HERE to watch the regular trailer
CLICK HERE to watch the RED BAND trailer (nsfw!)
CLICK HERE to pre-order the DVD