I’m on the fence about Sam’s Lake.
It’s a slow-burner, but it’s got gorgeous scenery. The body count is low, but the story is fairly intriguing. There’s no bloodletting till around the 43 minute mark, and the carnage is minimal.
Despite all this, I felt compelled to see it through.
Sam (super-cute Fay Masterson) brings a carload of her partying friends up to a remote cabin on the lake where she grew up.
Once ensconced, Sam’s childhood pal and local garage mechanic Jessie (William Gregory Lee) drops in to share a chilling campfire story about a kid who escaped from a nearby mental hospital (there’s always a nearby mental hospital) and wasted his entire family with a pointy stick.
As is so often the case, this tall tale is no legend, as the campers soon become painfully aware.
The “twist” in Sam’s Lake isn’t very twisted, especially since it’s pretty damn obvious from the get-go that somebody here is a 24-carat killer. Even so, the buildup is sturdily constructed and the showdown contains genuine surprises.
Fay Masterson delivers a charged performance as a deviously clever protagonist. On the down side, there’s not much happening on the horny or hacking front. If you pass on Sam’s Lake, you haven’t missed anything. If you give it a chance, your patience will be ever-so-slightly rewarded.