Eden Lake (2008)
Critic Consensus: A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.
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, however, their blissful moment of peace is rudely interrupted when their campsite is encircled by a gang of particularly unruly teens. After the kids provoke the couple by stealing their belongings and vandalizing their car, the situation turns deadly serious as Steve attempts to confront them and suffers a terrible beating. Now it's up to Jenny to flee from her tormentors under the shroud of darkness and make her way to the nearest town, though what she finds there may well be worse than what's waiting for her back in the woods. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Eden Lake
An effectively harrowing Brit thriller-cum-horror pic whose yuppie protags' weekend getaway runs violently afoul of the local youth.
...while Eden Lake is effective, something feels not quite right about cheering for prepubescent kids to get their fatal comeuppance.
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.
Works exceedingly well, and will probably stick in your gut for a little while.
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.
Audience Reviews for Eden Lake
As harmless as this film starts out, it soon becomes one of the most ruthless, sadistic and mean horror thrillers of recent years. Once you reach the end you'll be pissed off and never want to see it again. But the road there is admittedly pretty exciting. If you're ignoring the unlikeliness of the hunted and perpetrators running into each other over and over in the forest.
Good horror. Hated the kids in this. Never want to see it again, I have to say. Awful stuff. Really left me feeling disturbed and just yuck.
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.
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