Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo ★★★★

Absolute terror borne from sheer mundanity, emerging from the supernatural only insofar as we look away from the truth. There's something especially horrifying about the utter helplessness of both the haunted and the haunter: for the Palmers it's in the inability to make sense of Alice's ghost, death, and especially her life, whereas for Alice it's her inability to be heard by those she loves. Her existence is limited purely in recordings, reliant on her loved ones dwelling on that past; finding new traces of her presence is so terrifying because it implies there's so much more of her past we're still unaware of, yet also heartbreaking because we never really knew her in life. It is only in death that we are compelled to learn who she really was, but the great tragedy is that this will do nothing to bring her back. She is dead.

One wonders whether the Palmers constructed her ghost themselves in order to excuse reliving the past. But reanimation through the artifacts of her past is not a real resurrection. The best they can do is accept that they'll always be haunted by her death, and live with it.

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