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Lake Placid

Lake Placid Movie Poster

20th Century Fox, VHS, DVD, 1999, Rated R, 1 hr. 55 min.

Normally, laughter in a horror movie is indicative of a badly made horror movie.  But there's nothing normal about this movie.  Very few films succeed at being as funny, suspenseful and entertaining all at the same time as this one does.  

I didn't really want to see this movie because I like my scary movies to be solely scary.  But this movie very nicely blends the laughter with the suspense!  The spectacular cast has as much to do with pulling off the funny parts as does the writing.

Because this was written by David E. Kelley, creator of Ally McBeal, one of my least favorite shows, I wasn't holding out much hope for this movie.  But I have new-found respect for Kelley.  The characters are complete and have real, distinctive personalities all their own, which has as much to do with the writing as with the acting.  

This is the story of a 30-foot crocodile at large in the tranquil waters of a lake in Maine.  When scientists studying beavers in the lake are killed by a mysterious creature, a Fish and Game Warden (Bill Pullman), a paleontologist (Bridget Fonda), and a mythology professor (Oliver Platt) set out to find the creature.  

The writing is sharp and witty and the cast dynamic.  Pullman plays his "everyman" characters with ease, and he really shines in this role.  Fonda is sardonic and bitchy, but you still love her!  Kelley really shines when writing for a funny, saucy, sexy character.  Platt makes a dislikable character more than likable and very funny.  Meredith Salenger as Deputy Dare is naive and sweet.  

I've saved the best for last.  Betty White is outstanding.  Perfectly cast as a sweet little old lady - who is not so sweet after all.  I knew there was a bit of bitch in her  - there are a few "Golden Girls" episodes where Rose gets a little snippy! 

The film doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's another reason why it succeeds in being very entertaining, suspenseful, and funny.

Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!




20th Century Fox






115 Minutes







Actor / Actress


Bridget Fonda

Kelly Scott

Bill Pullman

Jack Wells

Oliver Platt

Hector Cyr

Meredith Salenger

Deputy Gare

Brendan Gleeson

Sheriff Keough

Betty White

Mrs. Bickerman



Steve Miner


David E. Kelley


Michael Pressman


Peter Bogart

Executive Producer

Daryn Okada

Director of Photography

John Willett

Production Designer

Marshall Harvey


Stan Winston

Creature Effects

John Ottman



Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 9/01/2002


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