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Eden Lake (2008)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 4

A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 35,747

My Rating

Movie Info

A romantic weekend in the woods turns into a bloody struggle for survival when a vacationing couple finds their campsite surrounded by an aggressive gang of obnoxious adolescents in the feature directorial debut of My Little Eye screenwriter James Watkins. All nursery school teacher Jenny and her boyfriend, Steve, wanted was a quiet weekend alone, and what better setting for such a romantic retreat than a quiet lake surrounded by a vast forest? Just as Steve is preparing to propose to Jenny,


Mystery & Suspense, Horror

James Watkins

Jan 6, 2009

Third Rail Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (4) | DVD (6)

An effectively harrowing Brit thriller-cum-horror pic whose yuppie protags' weekend getaway runs violently afoul of the local youth.

November 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...while Eden Lake is effective, something feels not quite right about cheering for prepubescent kids to get their fatal comeuppance.

October 13, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film's one major fault is that Reilly's character repeatedly acts in ways that serve the plot, but which run contrary to rational human behaviour. By contrast, the shattering downbeat ending is well earned and genuinely shocking.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A solid horror thriller worthy of a watch, if only for its insight in to how easily the hive mentality can be formed, and how merciless it can be.

June 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Well acted, well directed, and totally intense, 'Eden Lake' is the best horror film to come out of the UK in years.

December 22, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter | Comment (1)

It's not your typical "wooded horror" movie, but Eden Lake works exceedingly well, and will probably stick in your gut for a little while.

November 6, 2008 Full Review Source: FEARnet

A gruelling, grimly effective British chiller.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

A well acted, smartly directed horror flick that's gory, disturbing, terrifying and topical.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

It is impossible not to admire the way Watkins ratchets up the tension in his debut as director (he wrote My Little Eye) and keeps his tale strictly to 90 minutes.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Daily Mail scaremongering? Possibly. But formidably well-made, all the same.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent

Eden Lake: pursuit, persecution, violent death.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It is not often that The Sneak feels like walking out of a movie. But this exploitative, patronising and nauseatingly violent take on Britain's yob culture had your critic eyeing up the exit.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Online | Comments (3)
Sun Online

It's not long before the claret starts to flow. And it won't be too long before you start eyeing the exit sign.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK] | Comments (3)
Daily Mirror [UK]

It doesn't fight shy of a truly frightening final twist, which makes it not only bleaker but also more truthful than virtually every other movie in this genre, which all too often is over-populated and under-humanised.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Frustratingly, there is potential in Watkins' claustrophobic, back-to-nature setting, but, in trying to play 'edgy' with contemporary anxieties, his cooked-to-formula script merely sinks to the level of the gutter press exploiting those fears.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film | Comment (1)
Total Film

Dispiriting and unpleasant, a trip to Eden Lake will leave most viewers feeling the need for a hot shower and a tetanus jab.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

For all the brutality of the confrontation with knife-weilding, car-nicking local scum - think Stanley knives gouging out tongues - it's never far off ludicrous.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

This looks to me like the best British horror film in years: nasty, scary and tight as a drum.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Comments (4)
Guardian [UK]

It's a claustrophobic marvel, and an impressive debut by Watkins.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

So harsh, bleak and intense it achieves a level of raw power. A sordid little nightmare of contemporary England.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Eden Lake


Ironically I think it's good to see a grindhouse torture movie that actually suggests it has a fraction of intelligence. Director James Watkins doesn't execute an "Eli Roth" and end up with Hostel but gives us something slightly smarter. There are elements of subject matter through out Eden Lake adressing the horrors of twisted adolescents and deciding who is to blame for the crimes seen depicted in the film. However some of the characters react unrealistically to some circumstances in the plot and consequently the story can never be believable to the fullest and cant be taken seiously as it wants to be. Although admirably Eden Lake does have something to say, it never fully manages to grasp it's ideas and be anything more than a wince inducing gore flick. In terms of that it's damn well difficult to sit through and could earn the title as one of the most revolting and sickening horror movies of the last few years. Originality is also not it's strongest point, there are many familiar scenes that look like they were taken from Last House on The Left and other chase in the wood's flicks. But putting aside the fact it's not as smart as it think it is, it too often resorts to cliche's, and runs out of steam eventualy, there's enough twisted gut churining torture and skin slashings that it works at best as a date movie, with the added bonus of a suggestion of substance.
August 4, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Forget Aliens, Piranha, axe-wielding masked metal patients and disease-carrying monkey's, its Ferrel kids that scares me. Kids who don't give a flying toss about circumstances, what happens to themselves or others, who aren't scared of repercussions of their own actions and have absolutely no emotion attached to their actions or remorse. I see them every day, hanging about on street corners, London saw quite a few of them in the Summer of 2011! That is what essentially makes this film a scary one but unfortunately, they cast the wrong kids. I also think they cast the wrong leading lady, unless of course they were going for a pathetic, annoying and useless character. Fassbender was good though, as were 'The parents' - who in some ways were even more frightening than the kids. That is also to the films credit, it blames the parents, which is fair for the most part I think. The overall message got through but the circumstances really didn't need to go as far as they did to be scary, in fact it was a frightening film until it all got a little bit silly. The finale however, was suitably terrifying, unpleasant and important - even though it might not have been everyone's first choice of ending.
March 5, 2012

Super Reviewer

Complete waste of time.
Thought the fact that Michael Fassbender was in it might have given it some credibility...but I did not.
Ridiculous premise that just gets more and more unbelievable as it progresses (and I use the word "progresses" very loosly here).
The ONE star is an homage to the fact that it avoided the ONLY thing that could have made it worse...a happy ending.
October 3, 2011
Robert C

Super Reviewer

Eden Lake is one of the most disturbing horror films I have seen in recent times. A well crafted horror film, Eden Lake is quite possibly the most intense horror film in quite some time. The story is simply horrifying, and the actors are excellent on screen. Eden Lake is a disturbing film that will make every viewer uneasy as they see the events unfold before them Eden Lake is one terrific horror film that blends suspense and horror to create a horrifying nightmare of a film. . I thought that there were plenty of bone chilling moments in this film and that it was a very well done film. The film is intense and scary as it should be. This is a film that doesn't take any prisoners. The film steadily builds its suspense and horror and as you become more involved in the story, you find it harder to tear away from the screen. Eden Lake is a superbly crafted horror film that delivers the chills, and it's quite disturbing. This is one of the most memorable horror films in the past three years, and the scares delivered on screen are genuine this is an incredible horror film that is very stylish and one that you cannot easily forget. A memorable addition to the genre.
August 17, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Jenny: Simply amazing.
    – Submitted by Fritz L (23 months ago)
    1. Jenny: Somebody help me! Please!
    – Submitted by Rawballs B (23 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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