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Default Lake Placid

Reviewer: Dave
Review Date: January 24, 2000

Released by: Fox
Release date: 11/11/2000
MSRP: $9.98
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 2.35:1 | 16x9: No

The Story

After a diver is mutilated and an ancient tooth fossil is discovered, paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) travels to Lake Placid, located in a small New England town, to investigate. She joins up with Jack Wells (Bill Pullman) of the local Fish & Game department and Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson). As they begin to investigate the lake they meet a lady by the name of Delores Bickerman (Betty White), who has a house right on the lake. She claims to not know anything about any creatures around the lake, but she does confess to killer her husband and buying his body in the backyard.

Soon the group of investigators is joined by crocodile lover Hector Cyr (Olivier Platt). Hector brings along high tech equipment that they use to discover a giant crocodile in the lake. It's eventually discovered that Delores Bickerman and her husband first found the crocodile in the lake as a baby and began to feed it food each and everyday. As the crocodile grew its food requirements become higher and higher. One night the crocodile went on land to eat one of the Bickerman's horses, when Mr. Bickerman went to try and stop this, the crocodile "accidentally" ate him instead.

Hector eventually talks Jack into letting him capture the crocodile instead of destroying it. Soon they begin operation "crocodile trap" - they take Mrs. Bickerman's cows and use it as bait in an attempt to capture the crocodile. Soon things backfire as the crocodile eats the helicopter that was holding the cow (yes, you read right) and next thing you know it's the crocodile doing the hunting. Now the investigators must escape the crocodile and destory or capture it before they become its next meal.

I'm a sucker for monster movies. I have to admit to even liking Godzilla (98)! Yes, quite scary. The effects are reasonably good, but as usually I prefer the scenes where the anamatronic crocodile is used versus CGI. Lake Placid delivers good entertainment as long as you don't expect a serious movie, and if you go in with the mind-set that this is a "popcorn flick". It's a horror/comedy and it doesn't take itself too seriously, and the audience shouldn't either. Give it a rental, you may just enjoy it.

Image Quality

Lake Placid is presented in its original ratio of 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced (DAMN YOU, FOX). The transfer is very clean with no signs of blemishes or specks. Colors were strong and vibrant. The underwater shots were accurate and contained the greenish color that you'd expect to see when going under water in a lake. Definitely a nice transfer here but there's no excuse for the lack of 16x9 treatment - shame on you, Fox.


Presented Dolby Surround 5.1, the sound is clear and audible with no distortion heard. A fair amount of activity from the rear speakers and sub; overall a reasonable presentation of the sound.

Supplemental Material

inline Image A small featurette on the Lake Placid DVD that runs about 5 minutes. It contains short interviews with the various actors in the film, and goes briefly into the CGI effects and anamatronic crocodile used in the film. A reasonable extra but it doesn't help at all to justify the cost of $35.00. Also found on the DVD are a theatrical trailer, television spots and cast and crew bios.

Final Thoughts

Rent it. If you REALLY like it then buy it. But if it's one of those movies you'd probably buy just for the sake of maybe watching it someday with a friend, then I suggest you skip it and not buy it. At $35.00, few extras and no 16x9 enhancement it's just not worth it.


Movie - B
Image Quality - A-
Sound - B+
Supplements - C+

Technical Info.
  • Color
  • Running Time - 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Rated R
  • 1 Disc
  • Chapter stops
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Featurette
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast and Crew Bios
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