Hey gang, Valkor here. Many moons ago and throughout the pages of TOV, I reviewed a film called “Eden Lake”. It was by far, one of the most amazing, thrilling, stunning films I’ve had the pleasure to sit through. So here we are in 2016 and the next film to come my way is called “Eden Lodge”, which I assumed might be some sort of sequel and I’d be in for one hell of a ride. Unfortunately, “Lodge” is neither a sequel to “Lake” nor is it as good. Though, it does have its own moments of cool. Read on, but beware of heavy spoilers.
"Eden Lodge" centers on family three – Adam (Ben Gardner Gray), Rachel (Cyd Casados), and baby Alfie (Georgio Costa Houtris) whose journey into horror begins with a late night drive through a heavy, forested area. After a near miss accident, their car suddenly stalls. Fortunately, they’re found by this creepy, old guy who gives them direction to a lodge that’s a walkable distance. Upon arrival, they’re met by Mrs. Wilkes (Ellie Dickens), who gives them the warmest of greeting as well as lodging until their car is repaired. As the film progresses, we learn that Adam and Rachel are having marital issues, which gets even more complicated as there some slight sexual tension between Adam and guest Pomona (Aggy Kukawka) as well as Rachel and handyman Robert (Garry Mannion).
But let’s take a quick pause to go back to the very beginning of the film as we find two girls, taking a hike along the countryside, into this wooded area, where one of them suddenly steps on a bear trap. No sooner is the woman freed, her friend is shot dead. The other attempts an escape, but she’s the one whom Adam almost hits, causing his car to go off the road. But he thinks it might have been a deer that crossed his path. Back near the lodge, the lone survivor female is tied up and tortured for reasons we don't really know.
So what’s the connection? The same entity that took out the two females is the same person responsible for the deaths that involve the people whom Rachel and Adam meet during their stay at the lodge - yep suddenly folks are up and getting murdered. And now the two must fight for their life not just for themselves but for their child as well. So, who’s really responsible for the killings and why? The answer may or may not surprise you. But I’ll delve a bit further in the TOV Breakdown.
While “Eden Lodge” won’t rank high as one of my favorite horror films this year, it’s still pretty decent fare with a passable storyline and a few gruesome moments that’ll make you cringe - the opening of the two female hikers definitely sets things off just right. Beyond that, the film moves at a moderate pace through its 80-minute runtime, which really kicks in towards the end when the bodies start dropping. After that, you have a nice twist ending, that I won’t reveal though it won’t surprise too many. Or maybe it will. I mean I wasn’t blown away by it, but it worked. The acting was just “OK”, though best performance overall goes to Ellie Dickens, who is simply amazing! Amazing! I challenge you to watch this film and tell me she’s not awesome and adorable! In the end, “Eden Lodge” wasn’t too bad, but still pretty entertaining.
First up, I don’t understand the need to add complications on top of an already complicated story. By that I mean, why do we need to deal with Adam and Rachel’s marital issues? It doesn’t really add anything to the story and it takes time away from building up the suspense, which the film sorely needs. And that takes me to my next issue with the film - the murders are too far apart; we get a torture scene or two of the survivor hiker girl but after that there’s just a huge gap of waiting for something violent to happen. I know that might sound disturbing, but after that cool opening, I kinda wanted more!
Robert getting his Achilles tendon cut – just… ouch!!!
“Eden Lodge” is available now and you can find it on iTunes or if you need a physical disc, you can import it through various online retail shops. On the one hand, the film has its moments of cool, while on the other, it does drag in various spots. So if you’re gonna go into this one, go in with the knowledge that the film is lackluster yet watchable. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’ll meet “Eden Lodge” halfway with a 2.5.