Ghost Lake Reviews
One of the best indie films of recent years. It possesses both subtextual depth and visual beauty. Crammed with enough story and character for two movies.
(Allen Richards: B-Independent.com)
At times this movie is visually as beautiful and as creepy as anything in THE RING. Simply breathtaking. Goose bump inducing. This is by far the most disciplined and skilled directorial effort by Woelfel. This film rose above the limitations it had.
(Mat Kister: The Keyhole.com)
Ghost Lake is an imaginative horror film with an ambitious story. The actors are full of energy and the special effects are mostly kept– giving it the look of a classic horror film. Ghost Lake is one of the most entertaining direct to video horror films to hit stores in a while. Ghost Lake is loaded with new talent and with both ghosts and zombies it’ll appeal to a variety of horror fans.
(Matthew Miller: Home Media Magazine)
A whirlpool of paranoia and fear. A strikingly atmospheric little film with some absolutely stunning visuals. Ghost Lake is a real joy, and a return to the classic days of cinema when movies where about telling stories...in this case a good old fashioned ghost story. I highly recommend this film, it is Jay Woelfel at the top of his game.
(James Lisk, Microcinemascene Magazine)
Four Stars: One of the best horror movies I’ve seen this year. The film gets high marks for its aesthetics, as it benefits from wonderful lighting, great photography and excellent editing. I can’t remember anyone putting split screen to such good use since “CARRIE”.
(Phil Davies Brown, Horror Asylum.com)
This is a multilayered horror film that will please both gore fans and people who like to use their brains. Filled with goose bump-inducing scenes of the denizens of the lake decaying before your eyes. Ghost Lake is the kind of film that stays with you long after it’s over. Director Woelfel has a winner here and should be congratulated for making a horror film that does not compromise the story for shocks (although there are plenty).
(Fred Adelmen: Criticalcondition.com)
Three Stars: I think this movie had a lot to offer in terms of creativity. You can tell that these folks are capable of doing something with nothing. Jay Woelfel does a fine job of making the most of what he has and covers a lot of the inadequacies of a low budget with creativity and "quality over quantity" thinking. The acting is fine, the directing is one of the best that I've seen in low budget horror. Definitely worth a rental...even a buy.
(Dennis W. Katolin : Amazon)
Marvelous writing by director Jay Woelfel, he lays a solid foundation for the film. He takes you on a ride into the supernatural, putting a few twists and turns in the path. If you are into ghosts then I highly suggest you seek this out.
(Eve Blaack: The Hackers Source Magazine)
The hi-def video picture on Ghost Lake is very polished for this type of indie project and the sharp 1:78:1 transfer helps convey the proper moody atmosphere. This, combined with writer/director Jay Woelfel’s old-fashioned approach helps maintain interest. The basic storyline is intriguing enough without the additional dramatic and supernatural digressions Woelfel adds. Still you can’t fault him for his ambition, and this and the devotion of his collaborators shine through.
(Michael Gingold: Fangoria Magazine)
The best sequence shows nearly a dozen water logged zombies returning to life and struggling to rip free of their body bags. Woelfel delivers a couple of clever twists along the way, especially scenes involving a creepy, pint-sized ghost. The waterlogged zombie-ghost make-ups are good and squishy, while the old fisherman has the best shock moment. If you groove on ghosties and ghoulies, take a trip to Ghost Lake
(Rob Freese: Videoscope Magazine)
Ghost Lake has a lot going for it. Woelfel has a gift for suspense building which he exercises to the fullest. Some of the effects near the end qualify for gruesome and scary points all at once.
(Steve Anderson: Reel Horror.com)
I strongly recommend that you see Ghost Lake. It is one of the better films in its class.
Ghost Lake features decent performances. The principal cast members do a remarkably good job. Adair, James and two other actors--Gregory Lee Kenyon as Sheriff Dobbs and Azure Sky Decker as Flora/Saundra Thompson--have to carry the film and they do so convincingly. The performances are as good as those in many high budget horror films. More remarkably, director/writer/composer/editor Jay Woelfel creates and sustains a very effective atmosphere throughout the film. He evidences a great understanding of, knack for and love of the horror genre. The beginning of the film is unnerving right off the bat, especially with its relatively unique approach to juxtaposing sex and death. Woelfel quickly establishes Rebecca as a bit odd and emotionally off-center. His early "ghost" scenarios are creepy, and once Rebecca gets to the cabin on the lake, the atmosphere gets even better. Woelfel knows how to light his locations for maximum eeriness. He knows how to effectively shoot at night (something very rare at this level of film-making). He has excellent pacing, and again, his construction of creepy scenarios is consistently high quality. He also effectively increases the intensity and suspense levels. I suppose Woelfel's skill shouldn't be surprising in light of the fact that this is the 41st film he's worked on in some capacity.
The story exhibits an interesting combination of influences, although insofar as it is a ghost story, it's remarkably unique. There are no Amityville Horror (1979) clichés here. Instead, the precursors range from In Dreams (1999) to the Friday the 13th (1980) series to George Romero-influenced zombie films. Woelfel also has more purely stylistic influences, including Dario Argento. There's even a strong early 1970s European horror influence in the music.
Many films at this budget level solve the problem by just not having any effects. That's not the case here. Woelfel gives us plenty of well-done, superbly integrated practical, special make-up effects, "creature" designs and computer-generated effects. The CGI is rougher, but the balance works well.. The point is to present something artistically effective. Woelfel does that with no problem.
This film deserves a serious look from viewers who appreciate the full range of filmic artworks. Despite the few flaws, Ghost Lake is very enjoyable and shows a lot of promise from all involved.
(Brandt Sponseller: IMDB)
10 stars out of 10
I honestly thought the movie was done very well for being low budget. I really didn't know it was low budget until I saw the bonus footage afterward. Anyway, the actors did a very good job in my opinion, giving special mention to Damian Maffei (Young Fisherman, member of family that died from sinking boat, zombie). It (the acting) was done more like real life, which I appreciate more rather than the emphasized way of acting everyone expects out of movies. The visual effects were done quite well too. I mean, who really knows what a zombie looks like? This was incredibly close to my vision of one.
The storyline was very original as well. I didn't know exactly what to expect when Rebecca was going to her cottage and the story that was told from there was exceptional, with the 13 years separating the "attacks" and recreating what happened. I found it pretty cool that Jay Woelfel built his movie around the history of the town of Rushford.
Because of all of these reasons and because it was just a refreshing film to watch, with the new actors, who will most likely make a name for themselves in the future, I rated this film 10. I appreciate the work Jay put into this movie and I look forward to his next.
It’s an ambitious project, especially with a running time of one hour and 42 minutes. The strength of the film lies in Woelfel’s moody cinematography, which is solid. The story also offers more complexity than the usual direct-to-video outings and unfolds at its own pace, quite unlike a 90 minute studio film, and the effects are used sparingly instead of overwhelmingly. It’s evident that much thought and heart went into this.
As for extras, Woelfel is wise to include several so as to make a case for his film. Everybody seems to have had a blast making this project and their energy is infectious. “Ghost Lake” tends to be a bit of a breath of fresh air, especially considering all the crap the studios have been shoving down our throats. “Boogeyman”? “White Noise”? Another inferior “Ring” remake? Please. Each film has strengths and weaknesses and this one is no different. It’s obvious that we need more independents and Jay Woelfel has some worthwhile ideas, only he needs the budgets to see them through. Believe me, he does his best and takes great pride in his work (just look at “Trancers 6”), so I do look forward to seeing what the man comes up with next. I’ll be watching.
(Modamagazine: Kage Alan)
Ghost Lake Movie: Three Stars Extras: 4 stars ( out of five)
If you’re to set aside any preconceptions about what kind of film it should be and instead focus on just enjoying Ghost Lake for what it is, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Filmed on location in small town Rushford in New York State, the eye candy of Ghost Lake isn‘t limited to gratuitous shots of its sexy leading lady. The lake itself is nothing short of breathtaking and leaves the viewer longing for a summer cottage similar to the one occupied by our heroine, Rebecca Haster. Now this isn’t your typical zombie flick. There ain’t bucket loads of gore for the traditional horror fan to enjoy here, what with these zombies having more of penchant for night swimming than flesh eating. Tatum Adair’s a very credible vulnerable, yet feisty, lead. There are twists aplenty as Rebecca wavers between trusting lover, Stan, and his arch rival Sheriff Dobbs (Gregory Lee Kenyon) and eerie little girl, Flora Thompson (Azure Sky Decker) adds a little bit of ‘Sixth Sense’ to proceedings. If you enjoy a good paranormal mystery yarn, with a bit of undead shuffling thrown in for good measure, then you’ll probably get your money’s worth as well.
(JOEHORROR .COM: Wayne Simmons)
4 stars Great little horror film!
I rented this movie yesterday and really enjoyed it! It's moody and spooky and has some great scares but it also has an intricately plotted story -- something that is sorely lacking in many horror movies these days. It stars a cute blonde actress named Tatum Adair who is very good in the film and successfully pulls off a wide range of emotions. The movie also features some great locations and effects and a spooky little girl who really creeped me out. If you enjoy low budget horror movies this one is pretty fun!
(AMAZON.COM : Curtis Madden)
3 Stars. I think this movie had a lot to offer in terms of creativity, but over played the question of “are these real ghosts” or “am I just a crazy person?” That being said, considering how traditional this portrayal is of someone who thinks they are seeing ghosts, the Rebecca character does a good job of adding drama to the mix. You can tell that these folks are capable of doing something with nothing. Jay Woelfel does a fine job of making the most of what he has and covers a lot of the inadequacies of low budget with creativity and “quality over quantity” thinking.
The acting is fine, the directing one of the best that I’ve seen in the low budget horror and I’m hoping that the DVD comes with some good extras to the horror fans some of the insights that they love to see. Definitely worth a rental...even a buy if the price is right.
(AMAZON.COM: Dennis W. Katolin)
Ten out of Ten: Very good film.
This is a excellent film. Very scary and full of surprises that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will leave you with goosebumps. The actors in this film were amazing especially the leading roles and the little child who had acted very well considering her age. This film also had incredible special effects that made the zombies look very real. The story line was very clever and kept me watching till the end of the film especially with all the flashbacks that showed what was going in the film. This film is one of the best “ budget” films I have ever seen and really enjoyed watching it and recommend that you see it too.
(JONTY LISHER from the United Kingdom)