Blu-ray/DVD Review: LAKE PLACID: LEGACY (2018)

LAKE PLACID: LEGACY is the latest film from director Darrell Roodt (Dracula 2000) and writer Jonathan Walker (The Outer Limits) that unfortunately continues the unneeded killer crocodile franchise that Lake Placid originally started back in 1999. The film stars Katherine Barrell (Wyonna Earp), Tim Rozon (Wyonna Earp), Sai Bennett (Close to the Enemy), Luke Newton (Disney’s The Lodge), and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix).

The film centers around a group of young and rebellious explorers who are given a tip about a mysterious lake that is home to an abandoned lab facility and possibly a hefty payday. Deciding that this will be their last excursion, the group ventures out in hopes of finding this remote destination that has since been wiped off the map. Ignoring the warning signs and electrified fences, the crew begins exploring the lake and its surrounding areas only to learn that they aren’t the only ones on the island. There is a deadly predator which holds the secret to why there was a lab facility to begin with, and this predator is eager to snack on those who have ignored the warning signs. With their lives in danger and the death toll rising, the crew must work together if they have any hopes of surviving what has laid claim to Lake Placid.

Let me start off by saying that up until a few weeks ago, I was not aware that there was a sequel to Lake Placid, let alone SIX films in the series. As a fan of the original movie, I was looking forward to diving into this one, even though I hadn’t watched any of the previous four, but figured what more did I need to know about a killer croc? Unfortunately, the viewing was not a trip down memory lane, if anything, LAKE PLACID: LEGACY was a painful reminder that some films should be left well enough alone.

The biggest setback of this movie, besides the writing, was the acting and the characters featured. There is literally not one likeable character throughout the whole film and even though I love me some Joe Pantoliano, even his cameo couldn’t save this dumpster fire of a film. I know, that’s harsh, but honestly, this film was painful to watch. Even watching it while high I found myself annoyed at every decision our main cast made as well as the atrocious performances that followed. To soften the blow, I will admit that I could see some sliver of talent just below the surface of some of our actors, most notably from Katherine Barrell, who portrays Jade, and Craig Stein, who portrays Spencer; however, it was not enough to save the sinking ship that was this film.

Along with the cringe-worthy acting, there was the ridiculous use of CGI on the crocodile. Listen, anyone that is watching a Lake Placid movie is watching it because they want to see a giant crocodile eat someone. Isn’t that why we love movies that feature creatures such as this? If anything, the production should have allocated the majority of their budget for the visual effects department to at least give the fans what they deserved. I want to be terrified or amused by a giant crocodile, not confused as to why it looks like a poorly animated creature. I think had the visual effects team been given the leeway to design and execute a higher quality creature design, this film wouldn’t have been so painful to watch.

A part of me feels bad, I hate writing reviews like this because I can only imagine how difficult it must be to make a movie. However, at a certain point, there needs to be an end to all this madness, as we don’t need six Lake Placid movies, especially if you aren’t even going to take the time to make it watchable. I think it’s finally time to put the crocodile to rest and end the painful continuation of this franchise. But hey, if you like movies that are just so awful that there is no redeeming value to them, then by all means, pick up LAKE PLACID: LEGACY, which is now available on DVD and Digital.

Shannon McGrew
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