I came across this film looking at the new releases on Netflix on a lazy Sunday afternoon and thought it might be an interesting story to add to the queue.
Netflix has become a top of the line service for binging original television programs or putting on classic movies that you haven’t seen in a while. However, there have not been as many really successful original movies on the streaming service. I certainly am not counting the days between Adam Sandler movies.
However, this one looked intriguing and different, so I thought I would give it a chance. And honestly, I was not sure what was going on and I did not find myself too involved. Then, the story took a turn and I found myself having to go back and rewatch the first couple of acts.
The hook of the film is that the story is being told in reverse order. It starts on a Friday, where we see Andy (Rainn Wilson) sneaking into his house’s basement to secretly see his little daughter. Andy was on the run for his involvement in a bank robbery that led to his brother, Sheriff Zeke Sikes (Benjamin Walker) being shot and hundreds of thousands of dollars being stolen.
Zeke is shown trying to piece together what had happened with the help of his deputy (Adam Pally) and a couple of FBI agents (Ron Livingston, Rob Corddry).
Then the narrative flashes back and we see what was happening on Thursday. The story continues to take us back a day until we saw exactly what had happened at the aforementioned bank robbery.
I have to say, the format of Shimmer Lake was a creative use of narrative that you rarely see, and the use of it here really created a well done mystery of what exactly had happened. Watching it back for a second time with the knowledge, you can see how they set up what was to be revealed in a very clever and entertaining way. Sure there have been other examples of this type of story telling, but there have not been that many to make it cliche. And, I really did enjoy the way the third act unfolded.
Now, to be fair, I was not as interested in the film until I reached that third act, so there might be some question about the overall quality. Still, when viewed as a whole, I thought Shimmer Lake was an effective film and certainly an enjoyable watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.