Written & Directed by James Watkins
Starring: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, and Jack O’Connell
Refusing to let anything spoil their romantic weekend break, a young couple confronts a gang of loutish youths with terrifyingly brutal consequences.
A proper British couple have their weekend plans ruined by a gang of local tween thugs. Steve and Jenny (Fassbender and Reilly), encounter a group of obnoxious punks on the beach. Armed with a ghetto blaster and an aggressive dog, the kids disrespectful attitude grows increasingly ominous as both parties refuse to back down. This movie has a knack for making the viewer nervous, and for good reason. The romantic getaway quickly derails to torture porn, so be warned.
Eden Lake is nothing new, but it does have a couple of advantages over the watered down competition. Fassbender and Reilly showcase uncommon talent for the genre, each tapping into primal behavior in order to survive. The local kids are so obnoxious and menacing that you can’t help but wish for their deaths. Eventually, these punks cross a big line, and their actions ramp up the conflict. Moral dilemma and basic survival instinct come to a head as the conflict progresses in all out war.
If you think this is going to end up as classic revenge tale, think again. If anything, this film slaps us in the face with the frustrating reality of injustice. Director, Watkins, knows how to pace a survival horror film, causing moments of great anxiety and nerve shattering tension. The English haven’t done anything worth mentioning in the last few years, but Eden Lake might be enough to grant forgiveness. Remarkably acted and directed, most horror fans that liked Wolf Creek would probably enjoy this gritty survival tale.