Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 25
  2. Negative: 13 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew Collins
    A straightforward camping-holiday nightmare, or a sly, ironic take on the same. It works deliciously as both.
  2. 80
    As irritating as Lake Placid sometimes is, it also has an easygoing sense of fun, along with one of the more memorable movie monsters of recent years. The mismatched ingredients blend into a blissfully, stupidly surreal summer cocktail.
  3. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    While we do get a bit of gore, the movie is really about this wacky bunch of people jumping on each other's nerves, kind of a zany hero's journey.
  4. A formulaic thriller, treated in a style that's just shy of outright parody.
  5. 60
    Comes in well under the ninety-minute mark, leaving no room for bombast or overkill.
  6. The strange thing is that for all of Fonda's whining, Pullman's wary squinting and muttering, the bad dialogue, the cheesy effects, the severed toes, the severed heads, the severed bodies and the cliched directorial choices, Lake Placid adds up to a halfway enjoyable time at the movies.
  7. It also goes out of its way to give you a schlocky B-movie vibe by wrangling bait in the form of a bunch of Big-Gulp stupid stock characters - that's a whopping 44 oz. more stupid than you probably were bargaining for.
  8. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    Amusingly macabre. [16 July 1999]
  9. 50
    Smoothly enjoyable, undemanding entertainment and features a couple of knock-out giant croc attacks.
  10. It’s a comedy, a romantic star vehicle, a thriller, a horror movie and a quasi-environmental parable that's calculated to appeal to all demographic groups. It's not enough of any one of these things to be particularly engaging.
  11. 40
    The only genuine surprises on hand are the few moments when the film defies the expectations that have been programmed into our collective neurons by the past 25 years of horror movies.
  12. Trouble is, while not trading quips, the characters actually go through the motions of being scared of the croc, menaced by the croc and so on. And since even the gator horror satire is old hat (remember ''Alligator?''), there's no remaining way to make this interesting.
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 24, 2014
    At least White summons the camp energy that Lake Placid is fecklessly seeking.
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    To be sure, Kelley's Emmy-winning brand of off-kilter humor and cockeyed affection for rural folk is on display, but his attempt here to blend the citified angst of "Ally McBeal" (co-star Bridget Fonda was Kelley's first choice as that series' lead) with the countrified absurdisms of "Picket Fences," plus bits out of the Peter Benchley playbook, doesn't hold water.
  15. It's like a summer stock "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," with the proviso that occasionally a giant snaggle-tooth monster slobbers onstage and eats George or Martha.
  16. It's laughably stupid, only fitfully scary and relatively harmless summer fun – if you're 12 years old, in which case you probably aren't supposed to be going to movies like this anyway.
  17. 25
    The movie is pretty bad, all right. But it has a certain charm. It's so completely wrong-headed from beginning to end that it develops a doomed fascination.
  18. An almost mystifyingly bad movie.
  19. 25
    A bunch of IQ-challenged characters traipsing through a laughably bad scenario brought to life using silly dialogue, banal direction, and questionable special effects.
  20. Instead of rooting for Pullman and Fonda, we end up praying that the crocodile is hungry enough to put them out of their misery.
  21. 20
    A smallish cast peppered with a pair of bullish performances by both Platt and the lesser-known Gleeson. The two spark some chemistry between them, which is more than can be said for Pullman and Fonda's moribund performances.
  22. 20
    By the end of this mercifully short excuse for a horror movie, you'll be wishing the beast had chowed down on the entire ensemble.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephen Thompson
    It doesn't help that, at 80 or so minutes, it feels like there's a reel missing—you know, the one with the finale that's even slightly more pulse-pounding than any of the four or five other scenes in which the big, impressive-looking monster attacks the heroes as their legs dangle in the water.
  24. Reviewed by: Jane Hogan
    A "croc" of nonsense.
  25. 20
    The shticky dialogue undercuts the solid genre plotting, which undercuts the humor.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 11, 2014
    this film is truly fantastic in that it is not and should never be approached as a horror film but as a comedy/jibe to all generic slasher films out there defiantly worth a watch Full Review »
  2. Apr 14, 2013
    It was just mediocre. Nothing more and nothing less. What kept it from being good was the comedic overtones and the corny dialogue. But the biggest problem was that there's a giant crocodile in a lake in a movie that's rated R and only 2 people get eaten in the 82 minute runtime! Full Review »
  3. Nov 27, 2012
    I consider this a 'cult classic'. It's not quite "Citizen Kane", but it's excellent TV and popcorn fare. A local law enforcement officer is killed in a quite gruesome manner by some unknown creature (ok - not a spoiler, but: it's a crocodile), so the local sheriff calls in the Fish & Game department. Pullman shows up, along with a woman paleontologist, who's run into an office 'triangle' and been deported, so to speak, to check out a tooth found in the victim. Eventually, a well known crocodile expert enters the mix. Along the way, the four make quite a dysfunctional family, with Pullman and Fonda unable to take their platonic relationship to another level, while Platt (playing expert Hector Cyr) and Gleeson (playing the sheriff, Hank) are the two bickering brothers. Finally, to throw another wrench into the works, there's Betty White as Mrs. Bickerman, whose husband is dead (without any records being filed in the local courthouse, and no real explanation immediately coming). Eventually, it's confirmed that there's an enormous crocodile inhabiting the lake. The only question is whether to try and trap it, or destroy it). Pretty light fare, with a few 'shocking' scenes which may be a little bit too intense for very young children. A final note: stick around until the very end and you'll be slightly surprised. Full Review »