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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eden Lake (2008)

Director: James Watkins
Cast: Kelly  Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Jack O'Connell 
Genre: Thriller

A gruesome hoodie horror/thriller set in the British backwoods.

Eden Lake (2008)For a weekend getaway, Steve (Fassbender) and his girlfriend Jenny (Reilly) visit an outback quarry-lake before the beautiful surroundings are devoured by an upcoming urbanization, forever. Enjoy their time away from civilization; the reverie is suddenly broken by a bunch of rowdy kids lead by a yobbo, Brett (O'Connell). Quite evidently, Brett is used to have things his way, by hook or crook, by bullying or beating.

The group starts monkeying around with the couple and it soon turns into ugly coquetry. Shocked at this vulgar behavior of some teenagers, Steve confronts the group but immediately retreats on account of incessant mocking and insults hurled at him--coming especially from Paige (Finn Atkins).

Eden Lake (2008)
The group further besets the couple by stealing their belongings/car and stranding them at night in the middle of a jungle. To get his belongings/car back, Steve's second encounter with the kids results into violent clashes and Brett unleashing his belligerent bitch on him. Accidentally, Brett's dog gets killed and all hell breaks loose. Now, the infuriated group tries to murder the couple. Steve and Jenny somehow manage to escape and begins the game of cat-and-mouse, followed up with plenty bloodbath and torture.

Film does sounds like any other survival-thriller but atmosphere is quite electric, build up is great, and the climax sequence literally 'screams horror' in your face--even sans the gore. You feel for Reilly and yearn for that sweet revenge, with clamped fists and gritty teeth. Alas! might just be out of reach.  

Toward the end of film (signs were there even earlier) we realize these demented children can actually be attributed to reckless parents and messed-up upbringing in a malevolent society/environment.

Fassender is not in his usual impactful, meaty role. It is Reilly and O,Connell who really steal the show here. O'Connell hardly seems to be portraying a character. All that hatred and hostility seems quite inherent--I call that brilliant acting.

Direction is top notch. I am pretty sure Watkins isn't trying to belittle any indigenous community through this film--just showcasing what can happen in any part of the world under similar circumstances. He perfectly captures the intricacies of how immorality continues to survive and thrive.

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