This film (in Finnish with English subtitles) riffs off a real-life unsolved crime in 1960, in which two teenage couples were stabbed and bludgeoned during the night while camping by Lake Bodom, near Espoo, Finland. Three of the four were killed, the fourth injured severely.
In the movie, directed by Taneli Mustonen, another set of teens - two girls and two guys - camp at the site where the 1960 incident took place. The guys ostensibly want to re-enact the crime to test a theory. To lure the girls into coming along, the guys tell them they're going go a party at a lakeside cabin. The girls play along but have their own agendas.
It's never clear that the characters are two couples. Elias (Mikael Gabriel) and Nora (Mimosa Willamo) swim together in their underwear and then retreat to the tent, but the film is ambiguous about what, if any, shenanigans take place therein. Ida (Nelly Hirst-Gee) and Atte (Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä) hang out by the campfire until they decide it's safe to join their friends in the tent - that Elias and Nora probably are done doing whatever they were doing.
But if that last point implies that Elias and Nora were fooling around, one might expect them to die first, according to convention for slasher films. Instead, socially awkward Atte is the first to go, stabbed from behind while poking his head into the tent to speak with Ida, who can't see the attacker.
Elias is the alpha male, a heavily tattooed, Polynesian-looking guy who seems out of place in rural Finland. Atte is a geek, a long-haired guy with self-esteem issues. Ida is a stunning blonde trying to emerge from a dark period in her past, her face masked in sadness. Her friend Nora is wild, tomboyish brunette.
Like many Scandinavian films, Lake Bodem is visually dark and austere. The production quality is professional, and there is some interesting camera work.
As the various teens' agendas emerge, the plot takes a number of surprising twists, perhaps too many. I found the conclusion to be muddled, with little explanation or motive.
Variety reported in February that the AMC Networks-backed genre streaming service Shudder had picked up the rights to Lake Bodom and would start streaming it in May 2017.
Stu Robinson does writing, editing, media relations and social media through his business, Phoenix-based Lightbulb Communications.