Eden Lake (2008) Movie Review
Written By: YN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: James Watkins
Producers: Christian Colson and Richard Holmes
Writer: James Watkins
Date Released: September 12, 2008
Kelly Reilly as Jenny Greengrass
Michael Fassbender as Steve Taylor
Jack O’Connell as Brett
James Gandhi as Adam
Thomas Turgoose as Cooper
Bronson Webb as Reece
Shaun Dooley as Jon
Finn Atkins as Paige
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Jenny Greengrass and her boyfriend, Steve Taylor, decide to get away from the city and have a romantic camping trip for the weekend at Eden Lake. But their plans turn sour as soon as they are greeted by the town’s hostile residents. After an altercation breaks out between Steve and a group of teenagers, the couple suddenly finds themselves fighting to stay alive as they are hunted down like animals.
Eden Lake (2008) has a bit of a slow build up during the first few minutes, but when it rains blood, it really starts to pour. The film knows how to make you squirm in your seat. Whether it’s because of too much stabbing or the emotional turmoil of watching young teens descend to such primal violence, there are scenes where you just can’t help but look away. It is bloody and muddy as one can expect in a cat-and-mouse type of plot. You can only watch in horror and disgust as things start to spiral out of control. Plus, the ending can leave a bitter taste in your tongue afterwards.
The Grave Review
At first glance, this film may look like a romantic chic flick. A man plans to surprise his girlfriend with a marriage proposal in the middle of their romantic getaway. The setting is perfect for it. Just the two of them in a beautiful forest with a crystal-clear lake and the deep blue skies ahead of them. Ironically, this is also a perfect place for murder–isolated, hidden and so far from civilization that nobody can hear you no matter how loud you scream.
But it isn’t the place or the atmosphere that will unsettle the viewers. It is the fact that the teenagers are the ones doing the hunting instead of the adults. What started out as trivial inconveniences and acts of delinquency quickly escalated to violence and bloodshed as a group of teenagers start to push each other too far.
The film’s director, James Watkins, sure knows how to infuse tension in the scenes and build it up until it teeters over the edge. For the first few minutes, we are introduced to a town that seems peaceful at first before it starts to reveal the simmering hostility behind the locals. Then, we meet a gang of teenagers who deliberately disrespects and riles up the couple. And yet, despite all the warning signs, the couple decide to push through with their camping. Whether this is because the characters simply have zero ounce of self-preservation or the plot demands it of them, the film has several instances where the whole murders and tortures could have been avoided if only the characters made smarter choices.
Nonetheless, Eden Lake (2008) can still bring out some very powerful reactions from its audience aside from disgust and shock (and sometimes, frustration). There are some heart-tugging moment especially with scenes between the couple. There are moments where you feel morally torn, not knowing if you should pity the teenagers or despise them. And there are moments when you feel justified at someone’s death. All of these would not have been as effective if not for the wonderful and convincing performances of all the actors in the movie.
Overall Eden Lake (2008) is a rollercoaster ride of suspense and moral dilemma that will leave you reeling in the end.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Eden Lake (2008) three graves out of five graves.
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