A giant man eating crocodile is loose in Maine, New England and an eclectic group of people led by the sheriff (Brendan Gleeson) are tasked with the challenge of luring the croc to land and subduing it, which is easier said than done when the croc in question is 30 feet long.
Like many monster movies the CGI isn’t great and two scenes in particular, when the croc eats a bear and a blindfolded cow, leave a lot to be desired. However, the lighthearted tone of the script and the brilliant chemistry between the characters, especially Gleeson’s Sheriff Hank Keough and nutty crocodile worshipper Hector (Oliver Platt) makes it a laugh out loud romp and renders the dodgy CGI almost unnoticeable.
Credit has to go to Betty White, who is a wonderful addition to anything she’s in. With a hilarious support part in the film she aided much of the humour with lines like ‘If I had a dick, this is where I’d tell you to suck it!’. Her performance, albeit a small part, was actually one of the best in the film. The cast was a perfect comedic ensemble and without that humorous chemistry and banter the film would have very little else going for it. The story is fairly generic if slightly limp, with no particular reason for why the croc was in Maine, of all places, apart from it would make a good film. the CGI is questionable but the entire film is lighthearted and laugh out loud funny, tinged with gore enough to satisfy someone looking for a bit of horror in their comedy.
As far as lighthearted monster flicks go, Lake Placid is definitely up there with some of the better examples of the genre. The performances are the main reason for its success, and while the CGI is lacking slightly the humour more than makes up for it. Not quite the gory horror film that some of the posters and online write-ups make it out to be, if you’re looking for something serious, scary and full of gore you’re in the wrong place.