Wednesday, August 12, 2009
It has been a while but I'm back.
Sometimes, 'straight to dvd' doesn't mean a film is a piece of shit waste of time. Sometimes 'straight to dvd' means a film is too extreme or out there for mainstream audiences. This is the case with 2008's 'Eden Lake.'
I picked it up at the local Blockbuster of all places and watched it late one night with my brother. By the time the credits rolled, my brother and I were sweating and had to pick our jaws up off the living room floor- not because the film is too gory (though it has plenty of gore), but because it is incredibly disturbing and drives home a brutally bleak, dark message about humanity, what we are capable of, and the current state of the world.
Violent and unrelenting, 'Eden Lake' follows a sweet couple played by Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender as they travel to an idyllic lake for a romantic weekend. Unfortunately they cross paths with a small gang of youths and a confrontation that could have been avoided turns fatal as the couple ends up hunted and tortured in the woods. Part 'Lord of the Flies' and part 'Deliverance,' the film depicts how peer pressure and gang mentality can push even children to the point of acting like terrified animals. 'Eden Lake' isn't just a survivalist horror movie, it is a tense, thought provoking and shocking film that makes you question just how far we have actually evolved from acting like savages. It is also a brave film that refuses to sugar coat or ease tension. Just when you hope things are going to go all 'I Spit on Your Grave,' the story veers in another direction that is heartbreaking.
"An unforgettable weekend" indeed- and an unforgettable film with a powerful ending.