Saturday, October 12, 2013

Film Review: Eden Lake (2008)

Eden Lake (Review)
United Kingdom/2008
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...it's pure tension and adrenaline injected straight into your veins."

School teacher Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend Steve (Michael Fassbender) decide to vacation in the countryside before it is converted into a corporate gated community. Their vacation is quickly disrupted when a group of teenage hoodlums decide to torment the young couple...

Eden Lake is an evil teenager horror thriller. The story continues with tensions rising on both sides as the innocent couple refuses to be bullied out of their vacation, and the teenagers refuse to care. A quick incident further pushes the night into a nightmare as Jenny and Steve are forced to fight for their lives. What continues are intense chases, suspenseful games of hide-and-seek, and gallons on top of gallons of blood. The film ends with a devastating yet thought-provoking finale -- it dares to enter the realm many films avoid.

This is a pure thriller from beginning to end. Every scene is crafted around it's heavy, tense atmosphere -- there isn't a moment where the film doesn't weigh you down with pure tension. The tension doesn't actually require violence; for example, the first confrontation between Steve and the teenagers is gripping and infuriating. And, on that point, there aren't many scenes of happiness in this film, I was infuriated at the teenagers the entire time. There are some solid jump-scares, and some graphic torture, as well; the deep wounds made me cringe, and sent chills through my body. There is even some thought-provocation in Eden Lake; the good old "nature vs. nurture" debate is always effective.

Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender are fantastic as the leads, they share great chemistry needed to create an authentic relationship and show great emotion when separated -- there are powerful leads that take control of their characters. The teenage cast does a fantastic job being annoying and frustrating -- exactly what they are meant to portray. The special effects are superb, the deep lacerations and other bloody effects are really cringe-worthy. The music is also very effective, especially during the final act and the ending. The cinematography captures everything perfectly in such a crowded forest environment, it's beautifully captured, as well.

Overall, Eden Lake is a very effective thriller -- it's pure tension and adrenaline injected straight into your veins. Don't expect much happiness as this film will tear you apart with an infuriating scene after another. Far from your typical Hollywood thriller, and, for that and it's other superb qualities, I can't recommend this film enough.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some brief full male nudity.

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