First, filmmakers please strive for imaginative titles, this one just gives so much away, and actually makes one sigh a bit, for it resembles so many other titles, for example one might this it’s a remake of the 1976 film of the same title. Aside from that director Adam Gierasch (Tales of Halloween (2015) and Night of the Demons (2009)) who fully understand the horror genre, though this production staggers for awhile throughout most of the film, and then strangely rushes the conclusion, it tries to add in suspense, but just misses the mark, dropping too many hints for audience.
Adam gives the audience a few scares; however his cast tries to admirably convey the monster of the story. The plot: an autistic daughter Emma (Amah Miller) and her parents Scott (James Callis) and Karen (Anne Dudek) decide to stay at his parent’s rental house to mend their crippling relationship while help Emma, hence a professional educator enters Gwen (Natasha Bassett) along with conflicts to Karen.
House by the lake, for the most part is a very slow burn, and this might dissuades the typical horror fan, but one needs to focus on Emma who is afraid of the water, seems possessed to venture towards it more and more throughout the film. In addition, another wacky character appears, Harry (Michael Bowen) far too transparent to the audience of what he really is, his tone and dialogue all reveal quickly his actual intentions, thereby ruining this element to the story. Simply, a story broken into pieces, a solid opening leaning more to a drama than straight-up horror, a few muddled moments follow, and finally a mad dash to the finale, while delving into some of the clichés often found in the genre, it ruins all the tension.
Adam Gierasch is a competent director but this is not one of his best efforts.