Is there a crocodile in the lake? At first few believe that such a thing could be until hard evidence shows up. The Crocodile is not an ordinary one, it is thirty feet in length. The camp is quickly split between those who want to kill it and those who want to save it. To learn it's fate you will have to watch the film.
This is a very well-done piece of work. The characters are interesting and there is just enough sarcastic humor to really lighten the mood. Betty White plays a foul-mouthed local resident and her delivery of her "I'm rooting for the crocodile" line is an instant classic. This is a fun film and far from typical. It is not just a giant-lizard-eating-people film. Check it out.
After a tooth is uncovered, it is sent to a museum to be analyzed. The museum director sends one of his colleagues (Fonda) to the lake to find out what is going on. There she meets the sheriff (Gleeson), the local game warden (Pullman), and arriving shortly thereafter, an eccentric man (Platt) who believes that crocodiles are godly, and enjoys swimming with them.
While there are some genuine scary moments in the movie, it tries too hard to be funny as well. If the filmmakers had tried to stick to just one style of movie, either humorous or scary, they would have fared a lot better. Instead of a very good film, what they ended up with is a movie that is trying too hard to be both scary and funny at the same time. While there are a few surprises in this movie (one that took me *completely* off guard), the ending is all too predictable. Some movies can get away with combining the horror aspects and the comedy aspects, like the above mentioned TREMORS. Unfortunately for LAKE PLACID, it couldn't quite pull it off.
David E. Kelly wrote this, which is why it will feel to some like an extended episode of ALLY McBEAL gone camping. The animatronics are definitely on par, and the "witty" banter gets wearying for the same reasons that led to the insubstantial ALLY's cancellation. People always see through glibness eventually. So the moderately amusing dialogue passes the time, since they make the creature as absent as they can possibly get away with, but it's pretty lazy altogether. The music is really funny. They try and gin up this really sinister stuff when the helicopter does a fly-by of this blandly idyllic Maine town. It's very funny.
Bill Pullman is a genius, I've decided. His understated style carries this movie. Bridget Fonda over-hams the "NY Girl Goes Camping" routine, and keeps falling in the water.
Don't fall in the water! The creature lives in the water!
Platt and Gleeson have some sort of recurring personality conflict throughout most of the movie, the basis for slapstick yucks, which are really just some sort of surpressed homoerotic display behavior between two adult men. You'll see what I mean. Betty White plays the role of her lifetime...which means she has a couple of funny lines.
This is not the worst movie. I wish they had gone all out and tried for that distinction. Instead they ended up making a moderately bad movie instead of going for gold; inexcusable mediocrity, that. Thus, the charm of ANACONDA just isn't there.