Sunday, February 9, 2014

EDEN LAKE (2008) movie review

Eden Lake (2008) d. James Watkins (UK)

Seeking a weekend of isolation and romance, an appealing young couple from the south of England (Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender) find themselves locked in a war of wills and retaliation with a group of rebellious adolescents on the shores of the titular vacation spot.

What distinguishes writer/director Watkins’ – who has already given us the hidden camera freakout My Little Eye two years before and would later showcase Daniel Radcliffe in Hammer’s 2012 version of The Woman in Black – tale from the wealth of “survival” movies is that the escalating violence between the protagonists and antagonists feels justified, truthful and well-charted, rather than simply a case of “we hate outsiders.”

Brutal and gripping throughout, Eden Lake is an expertly crafted feel-bad movie that delivers true horror within entirely believable circumstances – it’s all too easy to picture ourselves within the our “civilized” heroes’ shoes, and their intelligence and resourcefulness makes it all the easier to invest in their desired deliverance from this tender-faced Hell.

The chilling coda, all the more disturbing for its implications than for any onscreen bloodletting, is the razor-laced bow on the black heart-shaped gift box.

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