Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

The Winter Lake is a new drama featuring a premise screaming with possibilities, but it never delves outside predictable cliche. Sex Education’s Emma Mackey is quite good, with a strong character that should’ve had a better script behind her. Anson Boon is also excellent as the film’s layered lead character, Tom. I wanted to love this. The Winter Lake can never escape the simplicity of the concept, which occasionally works in its favor. The crisp cinematography acts as a thick coat of paint on a film that rarely takes chances. 

Upon finding a baby skeleton in the lake, Tom (Anson Boon) accidentally uncovers a dark secret hidden by Holly (Emma Mackey) and her abusive father, Ward (Michael McElhatton). 

The Winter Lake never takes us anywhere interesting. There’s not enough fresh originality here to be able to recommend it. The slower pace makes the subject matter even less interesting than it already was in the first place. If you ran ‘edgy indie film’ into a machine, this product would come popping out. The blasé reality of this quality isn’t always a downside. This is never truly bad, nor is it every truly as great as it should be. A couple solid performances make this easily digestible, just don’t expect any mind-blowing surprises. The Winter Lake is out today in limited release, then comes on demand March 9th, and DVD/Blu-Ray March 23rd.

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