Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Jack O’Connell, Kelly Reilly, Finn Atkins, Michael Fassbender, Thomas Turgoose
Directed by James Watkins
Distributed by Dimension Extreme
I hate most people. I genuinely do. The reason being that people ruin everything. How many times has this happened to you — You’re sitting on the beach relaxing and watching the waves crash into the shore. It’s blissful. Zen-like. Then, despite there being miles of open area around you, an entire family complete with screaming children take a spot right next to you. It’s enough to make you want to kill. Such is the case for our two protagonists.
Tired of the everyday grind, Jenny (Reilly) and Steve (Fassbender) want nothing more than to just soak up some sun and chill out in the remote area of Eden Lake for a couple of days. In fact, Steve is just about ready to pop the question when all of a sudden the moment is broken by a pack of unruly teens who want nothing more than to make their shared time with our twosome as uncomfortable as possible. Now, me? I would have just gone over there and beat them all to death with their own radio, but not everyone shares my ideals. Most people, like Steve, would try to reason with these cretins, and that’s exactly what our guy does. This doesn’t help the situation in the slightest as kids like this respect a shoe in the ass more than a polite request. It’s not long before everyone is at each other’s throats and what started as a wonderful weekend soon turns horrific in nature.
When I read the back of the box for Eden Lake, my initial reaction was, “Oh, great. Another one of these. People stalking people in the woods, yadda, yadda, yadda.” This flick had every right and chance to become the formulaic drivel we’ve all come to expect by now, but apparently director Watkins and company had some other plans. As a result what we get is a way above average psycho-driven thriller that will have you cringing as the tension mounts. Eden Lake is frightening in its realism. There were parts when I found myself wanting to scream at the screen. It’s an evocative shock-a-minute thrill ride that deserves its rightful place up there with classics like Devil Times Five.
I wish I could say the same thing about the special features here, but unfortunately Dimension Extreme has seen fit to release the movie with only a trailer and a five-minute making-of featurette. Come on, guys, this flick was primo! We don’t even get a commentary track? Talk about a missed opportunity!
Riddled with top-notch performances by all parties concerned, Eden Lake is the kind of movie that will stick with you long after its credits have rolled. You will find yourselves caring about these characters and wondering what would you do in their place if you were faced with the type of horror everyone in this flick has to endure. Sometimes a plausible situation can be a thousand times more frightening than a supernatural one. Consider Eden Lake proof positive of that assessment! A true kick you in the ass surprise! Highly recommended!
4 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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