Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eden Lake (2008)

Director – James Watkins
Writers – James Watkins
Production Company – Rollercoaster Films, Aramid Entertainment Fund
Stars - Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Jack O’Connell

Eden Lake is another flick that garners lots of love, and ranks highly around the inter webs.  I was super excited to see this one because I keep trusting that high marks on IMDB will mean I’m going to love a movie.  I can’t say I loved this one, but I'll sprinkle in a couple of things I enjoyed.

Eden Lake starts out by introducing us to a couple named Jenny and Steve. Steve is on the verge of asking Jenny to marry him and decides to take her to a woodsy location that’s soon to become luxury homes.  They’re a normal and cute couple.

Once they arrive and spend a few hours together at Eden Lake, a band of motley teenagers decides to hang out at the location too.  Loud music, dog snarling,  and genital exposing are enough to make me leave a location I’m hoping to relax in, but not Jenny and Steve, guess they’re in it for the long haul. 


Now for something I find illogical for an adult to do.  Jenny and Steve go in to town to eat, leaving the lake for an hour or two.  Steve spies the teenagers and follows them to their house.  Steve then gets all hot-headed and  breaks in to their house to confront them?  I really cannot see an adult doing this – it just does not fit in with normal 35-40 year old behavior.

Back to the movie, Jenny and Steve go back to Eden Lake (L DUMB), spend the night, and wake up to find their car stolen.  They decide to walk back into town and are soon almost run down by our gang of teens in their car, the group meets up and Steve decides to talk some sense into the teens, this does not go well.  What really sets the teens off is when the group’s snarling dog accidentally launches onto the end of a knife and dies.

Here’s when we really get to see one of the best performances in my opinion, Brett played by Jack O’Connell.  He is one scary mofo, I would crap my pants if he was yelling at me (and he’s playing a teen).  He just seemed so black hearted and evil.  He’s lead in the gang for a reason.  He has the others on lock down and they do what Brett says or pay the price.

One of the best scenes happens after Jenny and Steve manage to get back their car, but crash it while speeding out from Eden Lake.  Steve coaxes Jenny out of the car and asks her to run for help.  When Steve’s captured Brett has each member of his little gang torture Steve just a bit so it can be captured on mobile phone video (filmed by the highly underused gang girl member, girl was creepy), by filming the attack Brett can't be the only one impacted if the groups caught.  Each member caves under his pressure.  I rather liked this scene, seeing Brett’s influence over the others was powerful.

So instead of running to get help while everyone is occupied, Jenny decides to simply camp out in the bushes all night.  Already haven proven her brain power she locates the GPS System Steve handed off to her after the crash, she somehow makes a call through the GPS that activates the bluetooth on Steve's Cell?? Steve's cell phone then starts ringing while the youths are all around him.  They grab the phone and know Jenny is nearby so they go after her.

Then they chase her a lot, all over Eden Lake.  She runs, she makes a noise, they hear it, run around some more etc.  You also get a nice little couple scene where Jenny and Steve reunite and she finds the engagement ring and they get all mushy etc.  NO NO NO!  I hate this as much as making out during a zombie apocalypse.
But I have another good thing to add in here, since I’ve been hating a little.  The score is awesome, I knew when I was watching it I was having flashbacks to The Descent for a reason.  David Julyan is the composer and he’s done other films such as The Descent, Momento, and The Cabin in the Woods.  Great music - this guy is mighty talented and identifiable because of that talent.

So as Jenny is running some more she manages to off one of the gang members – Go Jenny!  Too bad it’s the brother of the guy Jenny finds when she finally manages to reach a road.  She hops in the guy’s car as he’s actually coming into Eden Lake to fetch his brother for dinner! YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME.  So of course this guy drives her ALL the way back - but then being awesome Jenny steals the car when he hops out to call for his brother.

Then Jenny pretty much drives to town like a bat out of hell.  She manages to find some help. It’s just really unfortunate that the help she finds is Brett’s family.  Yep, she ends up at the same house Steve broke into earlier to confront the teens.

End of story is Brett is bad because his dad is an abusive dick, deep. 

This movie looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, but it’s just not a duck.  Like most, the actions of the characters are a major set-back and what happens to them is just too much coincidence. I also have one more thing to add, can we please dress Jenny is something other than a damn baby doll dress?

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