LAKE ARTIFACT ** USA 2019 Dir: Bruce Wemple. 96 mins
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” Leo Tolstoy. Unfortunately, both were missing from this film.
Lake Artifact directed by Bruce Wemple (Altered Hours) takes us into a strange hybrid of sci-fi/slasher horror that never really manages to raise above its great potential.
Lake Artifact follows our main cliché group of party goers down to a cabin in the woods for partying and general merriment. Nearing their party cabin in up-state New York their car breaks down and they receive help from a mysterious stranger. They decide to let the stranger tag along to their party retreat. Once there strange polaroids appear hinting at events they can’t recollect and the mysterious disappearance of one of the groups sparks a descent into paranoia and mayhem or at least it should have…
Being a fan of mind bending Sci-fi I was looking forward to Lake Artifact. The premise of time loops and parallel timelines is a great way to dissect a story and works to create something unique and genuinely spooky. The results of Lake Artifact was a confused attempt at leaving me well bored of the whole ordeal. The script has genuine moments of interest which were badly executed, an overall reliance on an additional time line of interviews about the legend of Lake Artifact and a cult called The Hand of One/God which just confused the
story. If they had enough belief in just the time loops happening to the central characters and left some mystery it would have made this film more focused. The acting on the whole was bearable for this type of film where performance isn’t a key factor. But the haphazard bunch of characters lacked any real-world focus and felt very clichéd in their usual horror tropes.
Lake Artifact had moments of interest mainly in the time loop moments which was not enough to really warrant 96 minutes of a time loop I felt stuck in. While Lake Artifact is not the worst of its type of low brow sci-fi, it is a certainly a forgettable one.
Review by Kemal Yildirim