Halloween is tomorrow, and I will be doing the thing I do every year: watching the greatest horror movie ever made, Lake Placid.
Not offensive to women = 0/1 pt
Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2/2 pts
Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test = 0/3 pts
Okay, not off to a great start here. Lake Placid‘s characters are firmly “gender-rolesy” (my professional term for a work where the gender binary is writ in stone and never questioned. See also: FRIENDS.) Main character Kelly (Bridget Fonda) can best be described as “shrill” throughout the beginning of the movie, and the two main men (Fish and Game officer Jack and Sheriff Hank) are bossy and annoying. Somehow the three all become friends, I guess because they deserve each other? Anyway, the real highlights are Betty White as a conniving crocodile-sympathizer who feeds cows to the crocodile and may or may not have lured her husband to his death, and Hector, the crocodile-ologist who worships crocs. It’s a toss-up which character I identify with more.
Artistic and/or Entertaining = 4/4 pts
I love every beat of this movie! The search for the mysterious creature in the vast lake! The reveal of the crocodile by EATING A BEAR. Other things I won’t spoil for you! The movie actually has some good, believable tension between the characters and their competing desires (kill the crocodile or trap and release it somewhere else), and a fun twist at the end.
I also love the nonsensical addition of the cheating boyfriend/love triangle that gets Kelly sent off to upstate New York to look at the crocodile tooth. You don’t have to try to ground things in logic, B horror movie! Own the wackiness.
Above and Beyond General Media = 1/5 pts
Plus one for Betty White.
Okay, fine! Maybe it’s not the perfect film, but it is a solid monster flick and I recommend you add it to your pre-Halloween watch list. The gore is manageable and the CGI is solid. Someday I’m going to write a thesis on whether or not Betty White killed her husband.
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