Lake Placid: The Final Chapter DVD Review
Directed by Don Michael Paul
Written by David Reed and Mairin Reed
2013, Region 2 (PAL), 86 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 25th March 2013
Elisabeth Röhm as Sheriff Giove
Yancy Butler as Reba
Robert Englund as Jim Bickerman
Paul Nicholls as Loflin
Poppy Lee Friar as Chloe
Benedict Smith as Max
Let’s cut right to the chase, you’re probably sat there thinking “Lake Placid Four?? There have been FOUR of these things??” Yes, your disbelief is justified. I’ll hold my hands up and say I have not kept up to date with this series; when the first film is only OK it’s hard to work up energy to watch a fourth instalment, but could this be the horror series the world is missing out on? Well, no, of course not. But if you can get past the dull, uninspired first 20 minutes of Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, you may be slightly surprised in how it eventually fares.
Following straight on from Lake Placid 3, Reba (Yancy Butler) is back as a crocodile hunter, but this time round has been hired to help keep the extra big and hungry crocodiles enclosed in the lake as part of a nature preserve. This would be fine, but of course nothing goes as planned. A huge electrical fence encloses the park to keep them in but when poachers leave the gates open, and a school bus takes a wrong turn into the enclosure, it is up to Reba and the local sheriff to rid the town of these monster crocs once and for all.
This film doesn’t break much new ground, but refreshingly it does give us a couple of strong female leads. Yancy Butler reprising her role as the badass hunter is often entertaining, but most interesting is the female sheriff played by Elisabeth Röhm. It would have been very easy and paint by numbers to have this character played by a dude, but the inclusion of a female gives this rather bland film a bit of a shakeup. The acting isn’t too bad either, UK residents and fans of Eastenders may recognise teen heart-throb Paul Nicholls. The man does a stand up job of an American accent, though how he is meant to have a teenage son in this is baffling. And then there’s Robert Englund… being Robert Englund. You know what you’re getting with that guy, but if he’s your main draw be prepared for a lot of screen time without him.
For a low budget TV movie the CGI is as you would expect: utterly awful. Just really, really bad. The crocodile is in no way scary, it’s poorly executed in terms of how it looks and manages to make a noise that’s a cross between a lion giving birth and a T-Rex taking a dump. It’s just distracting. The kills are also pretty unimaginative, a guy being electrocuted on the fence and another getting his dick ripped off by the crocodile is nothing we haven’t seen before. However, amongst all this are some pretty funny moments, when jock douchebag Drew (Dan Black) is told to help look for Chloe (Poppy Lee Friar), right after his girlfriend Brittany (Scarlett Byrne) has been eaten by a crocodile, because Chloe “needs him” he retorts, “Well Brittany needs her head!” It’s not much but I’ll take it.
The film manages to maintain momentum as it reaches its climax and like most films of this kind, it ends with a hint that this so called “Final Chapter” may not be as final as we’d though/hoped. More’s the pity.
Low expectations probably made this better than it really is but unless you’re an über fan of the series, or have a thing for crocodiles, this is one to skip.
Video and Audio:
Crisp and clear for both, which considering the bad CGI crocodile, maybe isn’t such a good thing.
Nothing. Nada. But I’m not really complaining about that.