A dark comedy crime thriller told in reverse, Shimmer Lake makes me wish that “cerebral slapstick” was a genre you could search on Netflix.
As we all know, Netflix’s blurbs can be very tricky – and sometimes downright misleading. When I clicked on Shimmer Lake, I was looking for movies in a similar vein to Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins’ Fracture. We started off on the right track… a seemingly straight forward crime gone awry, cops with suspect motivations and divergent story threads that you trust will eventually come together. Yay! Serious stuff!
As should be predictable by now, things did not go as expected. Around the point where our main character conspired with his niece not to snitch on each other’s terrible behaviour, I knew that I was not watching a “serious” movie.
The beauty of Shimmer Lake
The first couple of times you feel like laughing, you’re not sure you should. Then you realise that the movie wants you to. And that’s a freeing experience. See, Shimmer Lake knows your darkest inner thoughts. It knows that you think a good chunk of the people you know are idiots. It knows you’re not being nice when you don’t engage in family arguments. It knows you hate your neighbour and her loud dog, but mainly just your neighbour because the dog can’t help who its owner is.
The beauty of Shimmer Lake is that it knows all these things, and never judges you for them. In fact, it empathises.
Check out Shimmer Lake’s trailer
I chose Shimmer Lake for this week’s movie in apology to those of you who may have watched Earthquake Bird last week to better understand the boredom and confusion. It’s funny, twisty and allows you a glimpse into the life of someone who’s surrounded by even worse idiots than you are (probably). The misanthrope within you will smile from start to finish. The decent person in you may or may not go into hiding – but that’s okay. The examined self, and all that.
While the story of this movie is told in reverse, you won’t have to engage too much of your memory to follow along. The characters are well-established and the general plotline quite simple to understand. Really, you could literally switch off your brain and just let the movie tell you what’s going on and you’d have a great experience. If you, like me, can’t really switch off even when you try and end up piecing things together you’ll have a good time when the conclusion rolls around and you find out what actually happened.
All I’m gonna say is that being wrong sometimes builds character, okay?
Mood Rating: Sometimes lockdown really sucks, but at least you’re not locked down with the residents of Shimmer Lake and that is no small blessing.
Linda, AKA TAGG herself, loves great music and terrible movies. Find her being geeky on Twitter @ThatLFM