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Eden Lake (2008)

A weekend by the lake, with views to die for.

Starring:

Bronson Webb

Finn Atkins

Jack O'Connell

James Burrows

James Gandhi

Jumayn Hunter

Kelly Reilly

Lorraine Bruce

Michael Fassbender

Shaun Dooley

Tara Ellis

Thomas Turgoose

Tom Gill

Directed by:

James Watkins

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 91 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Shortly after the chavs have set fire to London and other British cities the time seems right to revisit this pretty decent kids gone wild horror from James Watkins. Eden Lake is the sadistic lovechild of French horror film Them and OAP revenge thriller Harry Brown.

Eden Lake is the beauty spot that Steve (Fassbender) takes girlfriend Jenny (Reilly) to for a romantic weekend away. Unfortunately, the besotted lovers end up sharing their getaway with a group of loud, argumentative chavs (young British social delinquents in tracksuits) hell-bent on ruining it for them. When Steve tries to assert his manliness they start to turn nasty and it turns into a battle for survival for the lovely couple.

James Watkins film is a cleverer-than-most real-life horror that provides plenty of action, gore and tension. This is set in stark contrast to the opening saccharine sweet shots of a couple in love who ultimately you can feel lots of empathy towards. Like much of its ilk, Eden Lake is filled with plotholes and implausibilities galore that allows the audience to provide a running commentary along the lines of “Why didn’t she just…?” and “How did he do that?”

Two thirds of the way through though, Eden Lake evolves from standard horror fare to something truly haunting that will make an impression on you. It’s when the movie becomes really grounded in the real world that it starts getting scary and maybe the scenario is a little over the top, and the teenagers over-caricaturised, but it could happen (although I do apologise for the Daily Mail summing up).

It's Got: A good context, two 'good guys' who are easy to care for, a haunting finale

It Needs: More thought to be put into the plotholes and implausabilities, to decaricature the teenagers a little

DVD Extras A four minute featurette, trailer and trailers for a couple of other Dimension Extreme films - poor. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Harry Brown, Strangers, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Them

Summary

If you go down to the woods today… you might get tortured and set on fire by teenagers.

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