Hey folks, Valkor here. And I welcome you to TOV's "30 in 30", where I'll review 30 unique film and maybe some not so unique, all in 30 days. What's cool for most of the flicks, is that I know nothing about em. So this should be a real treat not just for you guys, but for me as well. Good or bad, this is gonna be a fun month. It all starts today July the 4th and ends on Aug the 3rd. Can I make it through? We'll know soon enough!
We're a little more than halfway done with this month's 30 in 30 as we jump into number 16 "Clear Lake, WI".
Clear Lake, WI involves Kyra Sannhet (Shi Ne Nielson), a documenting reporter investigating the events of what happened at Clear Lake - a now abandoned town whose waters were polluted and children kidnapped and murdered; all done by a guy simply known as "The Reverend" (Michael Madsen). Kyra gathers up four of his disciples aka Warriors, Reed (Dustin Booth), Sam (Grinnell Morris), Beth (Carla Toutz) and Michael (Morgan Simpson) and return to Clear Lake to get their side of the story of what took place. These four were closest to The Revered and were used to kidnapped those he considered sinners in the eyes of God, and now they get the chance to open old wounds, spilling their guts of the incident that took place. But someone has followed them back to Clear Lake and the group start disappearing one by one. Suddenly, during the last twenty minutes of the film, shit starts going down and people start dying. But who's responsible? And why? Is it the Reverend? Or is it someone else?
Unfortunately you'll have to wade through over an hour of story to get the answer in the last 15 minutes. Is it worth the ride?
Clear Lake, WI isn't a bad story per say… It's slow, but also quite compelling, with just a touch of suspense to make things interesting enough to stick around. There's only one instance where you think you know who's behind it, but during those last 15 minutes, your taken on a complete 360. And those who you think will survive till the end… well, they don't. But what also helps carry the story is the acting; everyone really fits into their roles. My personal favorites are Dustin Booths wacky Reed and also Shi Ne Nielson, who not only has PerfectView written all over her, but holds her serious attitude throughout, never letting up. But overall a wonderful cast nonetheless. Special props go to Michael Madsen as The Reverend, though he's not in the film entirely, his presence is always felt and when he's on screen he just creeps you out, even in light-hearted scenarios.
Just the fact that you have to wait to see any action; it's great storytelling to hear the "Warriors" tell their side of the story, how The Reverend influenced them into doing the things they did, but couldn't events start taking place sooner? Because that ending? Very rushed! Still enjoyable, but rushed nonetheless. Also its very predictable as you'll know who's behind it long before the movie reaches its end.
Shame what happens to Kyra. Damn shame really.
Overall, Clear Lake, WI even with its faults still deserves credit for having a compelling story, superb cast, and enough chills, with effects you'll feel long after the movie is over. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give Clear Lake, WI 3.5 stars and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved.