This is a British 'horror' movie from the same team that made The Descent in 2005 it is directed by first timer James Watkins. Eden Lake concerns a couple (Jenny and Steve) getting away from it all with a romantic weekend at a rural beauty spot.
Their idyllic weekend is spoilt by a gang of local kids hanging around the lake, Steve makes the mistake of confronting the gang and a struggle ensues, a gang member pulls a knife which ends in a pet dog being stabbed – the gang then decide to exact a revenge. This begins at petty thievery, they go onto steal the couple's car and this then quickly spirals into extreme violence in which involve the couple being chased cat and mouse through the woods.
This film does have a lot of good points not just in the way it is shot; the couple loosing control of the situation as it slowly gets out of hand and the situation becomes more extreme, adults becoming belittled and over powered by a group of kids. I also liked the idea of a gang mentality – the dominant ringleader urging others onto more and more brutality – all recorded for prosperity (and blackmail) on a mobile phone.
I found the overall story though quite predictable and even the ending (which I won't describe) which has a surprise twist didn't really work for me and although a premise for any film is needed the UK (overall) doesn't have the wide expanse of woods or land to make this all together plausible – one thing about the UK is that more often than not you are close to a road, house village etc. This is not a land where you can run for days and not come across civilisation – although maybe I'm just being picky on this account.
I think that the major flaw in this film comes from the clunky and cartoonish stereotyping – the yuppies; lovely sweet, articulate, affluent (they even take scuba gear to a camping trip by the lake) and then the chavs; inarticulate, brutal, violent, knife wielding and rude (although they have the right mobile phones). It is a shame that all working class people in this movie are depicted as brutal, stupid and without humour or compassion. I can understand it being hard to stand up to a group when you are a child but the behaviour of the adult 'chavs' in the movie though does its best to go for the easiest shock tactics and I'm sure that ever Daily Mail will be very scared.
It isn't a bad film; it's just not a great one either which is a shame as it is well shot and acted but what a waste of the excellent rising star Thomas Turgoose – shame on you.
Director James Watkins
Kelly Reilly as Jenny
Michael Fassbender as Steve
Read more at: Nerve Curve