Pssst, want to check out Eden Lake in our new look?
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Genuinely horrible film, but impressively done nonetheless - it manages to get under the skin and is actually quite frightening. Apart from the standard horror tropes of unlikely character behaviour to maintain the tension, not entirely implausible either.
Implausible coincidences and situations I can put up with, but I feel the film endorses a classist narrative that exploits middle-class urban anxiety about working-class and rural society. This is a fairly common theme in the horror genre and works well sometimes in more surreal, campy contexts (Texas Chainsaw Massacre; the Hills Have Eyes). Eden Lake's "we take care of our own" vision of "lower class" nihilism, violence and delinquency is entirely lacking in subtlety. I wouldn't have such an issue with it, except that the tone of gritty realism and social commentary give it an ideological bent. It's as though the filmmakers are trying to show things "as they really are," but they fail to interrogate their own anxieties and positions, and their take on the subject is beyond simplistic. Is the talk radio segment about youth delinquency and parental responsibility at the beginning of the film supposed to frame the narrative? Judging by the ending, one would suppose so. Is the take-away the bourgeois assumption that society is deteriorating? These messages are scrambled somewhat by the necessities of plotting a competent cat-and-mouse thriller. The likeable, doomed couple; the relentless antagonist; the misery and suffering of it all. It's things like this that cause a character like Brett to promptly descend into caricature, while the assumptions and biases of the nice couple are ratified at every turn. Instead of making Brett a more complex character, other members of his crew are held up as weak counterpoints who bend under the weight of his oversized persona.
Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with a mean-spirited film. Bad things happen. Sometimes they happen to decent people for no good reason. This film was extraordinarily intense, and the set-up had a general plausibility. But it's hard to appreciate this film on anything other than a technical level. It lacks any sense of humour or reflexivity, so you can't really enjoy it. But at the same time, its politics and attempts at social commentary are bullshit, so you can't really take it seriously as nihilistic realism. It's kind of just a drag.
One of my worst shit films I've ever seen, where i were annoyed the entire fukking movie : 1/10 really i hated the entire concept and feeling it gave me
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!