October 27, 2011

Lake Placid: a guest post from Jennifer at Book Den

Jennifer's blog Book Den might be one of the most deceptively embracing of the horror genre. But make no mistake, once you start reading her blog you realize she has a strong appreciation for dark fiction in all its forms, from straight-up horror to the dystopian YA.

I asked her to write a little something for the Monster Movie Marathon, and she wound up choosing a movie I think goes under a lot of people's radars. I'll admit I didn't care for the movie when I first saw it, but it's kind of grown on me as the years accumulate. And it's got Oliver Platt, so how bad can it really be.

Lake Placid
by Jennifer

Growing up on the Louisiana coast, I had my fair share of alligator encounters. It wasn't until one particular nightmarish encounter that I became as terrified of reptilian beasts as mother nature probably intended. (You'd be amazed how far an alligator can torque its body mid-air.) Despite my fear - or maybe somehow because of it - Lake Placid is one of my favorite monster movies.

When a diver is torn in half in front of the local sheriff (Brendan Gleeson), a game warden (Bill Pullman) and a paleontologist (Bridget Fonda) are brought in to help investigate. Rounding out this enjoyable ensemble is an eccentric crocodile guru (Oliver Platt) and a resident of Lake Placid (Betty White). If you haven't seen Lake Placid and you are a fan of Betty White, she's worth the price of admission.

We discover early on there is a giant 30-foot crocodile in the lake, so like any predictable horror movie the characters need to swim, hang out on the water, and stand on the shoreline. There are a few things, however, that make Lake Placid unpredictable and one of my favorite monster movies. One is the level of humor. The chemistry of the cast and the humorous frights give Lake Placid a strong comedic element. It's nice to see people get dismembered and want to laugh about it. Secondly, Betty White. And lastly, I love how much I wind up rooting for the crocodile.

If you come across a copy of Lake Placid and you enjoy comedy in your monster movies, it's a fun little flick.


  1. I didn't love this movie, but I thought it was entertaining. Next time it comes on, I'm sure I'll see it with fresh eyes.

  2. Personally, I LOVED Lake Placid. Saw it in the theatre when it first came out and enjoyed it immensely. And for exactly the reason Jen mentions.

    It's funny, but not stupid funny.

    And Betty White is a hoot!

    And the scene with the bear? Awesome!

  3. This was on TV last week and I caught half of it. I used to hate Bridgitte Fonda but now I think she was great in this role.

    Whatever happened to her?

  4. :D

    That's a great question Tim. It looks like she did a few things after Lake Placid, but she hasn't done a thing since 2002.

  5. I wasn't a huge fan, but I enjoyed it enough. I agree that Betty White makes it worth watching all on her own.