Directed and co-written by young up-and-coming filmmaker Ansel Faraj, LOON LAKE is based on a real-life folktale from the Minnesota area, one I’d surprisingly never heard of. (This bears further investigation!) What initially drew my attention to the film is the fact that David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott of DARK SHADOWS fame have starring roles, but I was pleased to find that the film is really quite good apart from the DS connection. It has a slickness that one wouldn’t necessarily expect from a low-budget independent project, with a solid script and quality acting across the board. Particularly notable is David Selby, who has only gotten better with age. Here he plays both a murderous minister from earlier times and that man’s present-day descendant, both to great effect. Nathan Wilson (who co-wrote the script) is credible in the lead role, and Kelly Erin Decker (aka Kelly Kitko) does fine work as the innocent (or is she?) witch falsely accused (or was she?) of bringing calamity on her community, for which she was executed and as the result of which she returns bearing malicious intent.
I credit the writers with adding serous depth to the otherwise somewhat familiar narrative. The script tackles some tough questions, probing deep a substrata of theological undertones. Of course one need not dive in philosophically if he doesn’t want to, nor must one be a huge fan of DARK SHADOWS to appreciate it. LOON LAKE can be enjoyed simply as a groovy ghost story, a tasty treat for DS fans and culturally-deprived “other” folks alike. Check this one out.