So Surviving Crooked Lake was at Slamdance back in 2008 and even won the Kodak award for best cinematography – thanks in part to showing nature as a beautiful siren and then as an unforgiving mistress. Now, the film is getting a limited release on July 24th, and while I can’t figure out if the trailer works all that well, I think more than a few people might find the movie pleasantly surprising.

As you can see, it’s a blend of a lot of styles. There’s certainly the tell-tale indie look, but it also seems to be the same kind of story as The Descent wherein the first half is one thing while the second is another. In the case of Crooked Lake, it looks like the first half is all about coming-of-age and learning who you are while the second half is about not being eaten by wolves and carrying around a dead-body-shaped albatross through dangerous terrain.

There’s definitely the potential to laugh at the sort of things coming out of teenage girls’ mouths – a lot of the dialogue (“You’re going to get us killed!”) and the situation of canoeing down some serious water seem better suited to an older cast, but it’s an interesting quirk that keeps the movie pretty innocent and hyper-real at the same time. Yeah, it can be a little giggle-inducing, but for the most part it’s pretty solid. Especially considering there’s little to zero chance of being rescued.

What do you think?

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