Hey folks, Valkor here, welcoming you to round two of my "15 films of horror" - films that you might consider adding to your film rotation come Halloween. Last round we dealt with an Aussie film and this round we hit up the British with a film that will not only shock you, but it may just piss you off a little. Give it up for "Eden Lake", which is written and directed by James Watkins.
Eden Lake centers on couple Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender - X-Men: Days of Future's Past), who head off on a romantic weekend towards the Stapleton Quarry, which will soon be called "Eden Lake"; and what a beautiful, quiet, secluded area for a young couple to lazy a weekend away together. However, their trip is soon interrupted by a group of teenagers, who have no regards whatsoever towards the couple's privacy or respect of the land. When Steve initially confronts the youths, they basically tell him to "piss off", which soon leads into a tit-for-tat confrontation between the two groups. And what starts out as a minor confrontation of words, leads into a breakout of violence; first, the kids take it upon themselves to taunt the couple by stealing their car. But when Steve attempts to get it back, tempers flare, weapons are drawn, and a struggle breaks loose, ending in the death of one of the teen's dog. Steve and Jenny escape, but now the teens are out for blood and soon the couple has become the teens target. Steve is ultimately caught and Jenny is the last one standing as she attempts to make her way out of the forest to get help. What happens later is gripping, gory, and surreal. But it's the ending of the film that will leave you in shocked, awed and angry.
Eden Lake is the kind of film where you wish you could yell at the screen and the characters would actually listen. You want Steve to just walk away instead of confronting the teens. I mean throughout the entire film I'm saying to myself "Damn it, Steve! If you'd only had just walked away from it all, you wouldn't be in this mess." Or when Jenny just squats and takes a nap, while Steve is pinned in the car. UGH! Then again, if none of this had happened, we wouldn't have this awesome film. And with that in mind, let's get on with the review.
What an amazing film! "Eden Lake" is a definite winner in my book; from start to finish, you're locked into your seat until the bitter ending. Ok, not immediately but after the first 30 minutes it's on! And the pacing is brisk and even, which is not too fast or too slow. And the level of suspense is very high. Edge of your seat? You better believe it! The acting is top notch all around and everyone's A-game is on point in this film, with standouts going to Kelly Reilly, who does an amazing job for all she has to do. You just feel so bad for her character and you want her to get through it all, but at the same time, you want her to grow some balls and start kicking some ass. So, kudos Miss Reilly for a job well done. Finally, the gore is top-notch and no holds barred; you'll cringe at some of the horrific events of the film.
Nothing negative towards the film, but there will be a lot of pissed off viewers once they see how this one ends. If you're like me, you'll wanna throw the remote at the screen. But in the end, Eden Lake is just too damn good to hate.
The nerdy Indian kid who decided to help the teens rather than Jenny; you know the phrase "if you play with fire, you're bound to get burnt"? Yea…
Eden Lake is a definite winner in my book and I'm sure you guys at home will enjoy it once you've given it a try. Gripping, suspenseful, gory, and very entertaining - survival horror at its finest and I highly recommend it. Out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Eden Lake 4.5 stars.