Eden Lake Movie Review
The story of Eden Lake follows Jenny and Steve as they go on a romantic getaway to a lake that is soon to become a gated community. A perfect opportunity to propose, Steve keeps hiding the ring to surprise Jenny only to keep being interrupted by a loud teenage gang who are angry that the couple is in their territory. The kids than vandalize and steal the couple's car leading to a conformation that lead to Steve accidentally killing one of the teenager's dog. Out of grief, the gang decided to go after that looking for blood. Soon a mouse-and-cat game begins in the darkness of the night, leaving both Jenny and Steve fighting for their lives.
The whole movie seemed to be surrounded with the idea that children have a decrease of morals due to lack of parental guidance. The whole movie seemed to be involved around that.
The movie starts with Jenny getting off of her job as a kindergarten teacher. When Steve and Jenny were driving to the lake, the car radio had on a report on the lack of morals that children seem to be displaying lately. When they go to a hotel for the night, they are shocked to see small children out playing around at eleven at night, They end up getting shocked even more when a woman slapped one of the children who was stealing dolls from other children. Then they get to the lake and they meet the gang who within an afternoon, one of them had pulled down his pants and exposed himself to them, they broke another random child's jar that he was collecting bugs in, they spit at the couple.
The couple in the morning goes back into town for breakfast and Steve asked the waitress about the gang that was at the beach and who the parents were. Her only reply was 'not my children,' which is typical of what parents would say, definitely when somebody accusing their children of slashing a person's tires. This seemed to be a problem due to not taking responsibility for their children's behavior.
Of course all of this leads up to an event that I do not want to give away. Trust me just watch the movie.
What Worked Well
The scenery was great. The lake which was soon to become a gated community had a gate around it for construction so they were locked in and since the lake is surrounded by a shrub like environment, there was a lot of trees, brushes, and wildlife around which brought the feeling of isolation and desperation to the couple as they try to escape.
The make-up department and special effects department did a really good job too. The blood looked natural, wounds looked deep and well-done, it looked like the guy got cut on his stomach or Jenny stepped on a piece of metal that went through her shoe.
The acting was one of the best things about the movie. Everybody was spot on in this gem. Kelly Reily and Michael Fassbender really did a great job with their roles. They seemed like a average day couple and acted like it. When the violence started, they really pulled off those scenes and made it look as realistic as possible which is rare to see in slasher movies.
The gang through did an amazing job. For being young teenagers, they were really scary and despicable people. The first time there were seen, they acted like a lot of teenagers would sadly act like- breaking stuff, cursing, talking about sex, being smart mouthed. The tension between the gang and the couple was there from the beginning and it was quite noticeable and the movie was not going to end well.
However what made the gang so amazing was when the violence started, and they decide to try to kill the couple. Then the actors really shined. One scene in particular stood out where they had tied Steve up to a tree and was taking turns cutting him with a knife. The way they did the scene was so eerie. They all looked nervous, they all kind of second guessed what they were about to do, one kid has to jump up and down repeatedly to get the nerve to go through with it. When they did go through with it, some looked sick and even threw up, while others cheered and clapped. It was a very disturbing scene but each child and Steve and Jenny acted so well during that scene that it still stands out today.
Another scene that showed the children's great acting is toward the end when one of the gang members, Brett, beat another of gang because he wanted to delete all the videos they had taken of torturing the couple and just leave. Brett was so enraged that he lost it and kept punching him over and over again. It was a hard scene to watch but it looked so real and the look on Brett's face was something else.
What Did Not Work
Jenny stepped on some sort of metal that went through her shoe. The scene of her taking it out was well-done but afterwards there was scenes where she was not limping like she was on other scenes. So that kind of brought it down a little however she limped almost all the time, it was just a couple of times that she failed so nothing major.
Another minor problem is more out of stupidly of the character's than anything else. If a rational person was sitting on a lake and a bunch of trouble makers showed up and was making rude remarks and threatening, they would probably leave. The couple in the movie decided that instead of moving to another location, they were not going to let mere children chase them away. If they did, the movie probably would not have happened so it was good that they decided to be stubborn and stay.
The Ending Ruin Or Make The Movie?
The biggest debate about the movie is the ending. A lot of people were crossed about how to feel about the ending. I am just going to throw it out there but in my opinion not all stories need to end happy. A lot of people marked down the movie because the movie had no redeeming quality and that it was too bleak and dark. Other people believe that the ending was the only real way to end it and that in any direction that could have been taken would destroy the beauty of the movie.
For me personally, I thought it displayed the whole movie so well and completely put the theme that had been floating around the movie back into play. It was one of the endings that you guess what was going to happen but yet the scene ends in a way where you question what they really plan to do. Even on movie databases, the ending is one of the most talked about aspects in the movie because nobody really knows what happened and it is interesting to see what everybody believes happened.
This movie is made for people who like depressive, well-made horror films. It is disturbing, gross, and very dark. If you watch this and get to the end and feel upset, just think about the ending for a while. It is really the only ending for a movie like this.
This movie is one of the cleaner movies in terms of cleavage so if you are hoping for nudity you have the wrong movie. There is also a fake killing scene of a dog and an unrelated scene which implies a fighting ring between two animals that are in cages but nothing is shown in regard to the fighting. The beginning can be slow to some but it is solid character development which is always a plus in movies because so many just throw violence around almost immediately.
Give this movie a shot and then write down on the comments what you think about it, definitely the ending.