Atte and Elias have a plan for a camping trip. Atte is fascinated by the 1960 murders at Lake Bodom in which four teens were stabbed to death while sleeping in a tent. A real-life attack actually happened at the time, providing the “based on true events” mantra. Atte wants to recreate the conditions on the night of the murders in the hopes of solving the crime, possibly by luring the killer to them. They invite two female friends, Ida and Nora to accompany them. As suspected from the start, not everyone will make it through the night.
Lake Bodom is beloved by critics with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing and it has won awards at festivals.
It is enormously overrated. The plot is laid out early but takes too long to go anywhere. The story drags for nearly 30 minutes before the kids even arrive at the lake.
The young actors do what they can with characters who are not very endearing because there is no real development behind any of them. Instead of coming across as an amateur detective, Atte seems more like a creepy stalker.
Lake Bodom has some beautiful cinematography and a few nice twists but that is all.
There is some excitement in the second half of the film and the Hitchcock-style curves thrown at the audience are smart but not enough to make up for the slow beginning or the unsatisfying conclusion.
If you want to go camping by the water, Crystal Lake is not as fancy but it is more fun.
Appropriate gore 8
Production Value 8
Final Cut Score: 36 (72%)