Horror Movie Review: Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012)

Do you know what we don’t get enough of anymore in horror? Franchise entries being called The Final Chapter and not actually being a final chapter. From Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare not actually being the final nightmare. To The Final Destination not being the last stop on this franchise. Then there is Friday the 13th, that had two final entries that weren’t the last; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Or how about Saw: The Final Chapter, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter, Omen III: The Final Conflict, and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later?

There’s something so lovable about calling your film the last one, and not sticking to it. Lake Placid, the crocodile-based series of movies that have gotten progressively worse, also did this. The fourth movie in the franchise is called Lake Placid: The Final Chapter and it would be followed by two more movies (as of the time of writing).

You can read our review of the series so far, below.

1999 – Lake Placid
2007 – Lake Placid 2
2010 – Lake Placid 3

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Written by David Reed, directed by Don Michael Paul, and picking up directly after the events of the Lake Placid 3. The movie begins with the character of Reba (Yancy Butler) having survived the crocs, killing the last one in a supermarket.

The last one… sure was a short movie!

No, of course, there’s more croc-mayhem to come as a year later the lake has been completely fenced off and any crocs inside are left to live/die on their own terms. No unauthorised people are allowed inside, but that doesn’t stop some poachers sneaking in to steal some crocodile eggs.

Of course, this goes as badly as expected, and one of the gates is left open. Does a crocodile escape and start causing havoc in the nearby town? No, that would be fun and fresh. Instead, a school swim team end up being driven through the open gate and to the lake by their distracted driver. They’re at the wrong lake and it’s probably not a good idea to get in some practice laps here.

One of the team members, Chloe (Poppy Lee Friar) just happens to be the daughter of sheriff Theresa (Elisabeth Röhm). She, alongside Lieutenant Ryan (Paul Nicholls) and with the assistance of Reba, need to get in and save the kids from a hungry batch of crocodiles.

It’s not a great story, but at least this one has logic about it. The events, while predictable, make sense and it’s an easy film to follow, even if you didn’t watch the last entry. In fact, if this is the first Lake Placid movie you ever watch, it’s not going to make much difference. Aside from a reference to the origins of the crocodiles, there’s nothing to link this film to the franchises roots at all. What it is, is the usual teens in the wrong place at the wrong time, being killed one by one by a big baddie. In this case, its crocodiles, who have mastered the art of stealth on land.

That is not a joke. These crocs are sneaky buggers, but few won’t be able to help root for them as Lake Placid: The Final Chapter has nothing but fodder as far as characters go. Even the main players are just copy and pastes of characters we’ve seen a thousand times before in horror.

At least Lake Placid: The Final Chapter remembers that the crocodiles are the star of the show and makes sure they get to munch their way through the cast. Even if the effects have that ‘made for TV’ look about them. It’s par for the course with this franchise though, at this stage.

Lake Placid: The Final Chapter is neither good, nor bad. It’s the fourth entry in a franchise that didn’t exactly start off hot. It’s got killer CGI crocs killing vapid characters you love to hate, with familial drama and a romance subplot. That will do. Until the next one.


  • Carl Fisher

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Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012)
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