Eden Lake

December 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

Eden Lake is a story of a young couple who plan a romantic getaway to a lake, but find their vacation and their lives threatened by a gang of unruly youths. The movie features Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly in the lead roles and has been directed by James Watkins. Watkins is more famous for his other movie “The Woman in Black”. Eden Lake was released in 2008 and managed to earn a measly sum of $6000 in theaters across the US. It fared much better in the UK, where it grossed close to 200,000 pounds.

To make a long story short

Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender) are a young couple in love who decide to take a romantic getaway to a beautiful lake near a small rural town. Unknown to Jenny, Steve carries an engagement ring, planning to propose to her at the lake. When they reach the secluded lakeside, the setting seems perfect for a romantic vacation. However, their plans are soon disturbed by the arrival of a group of raucous and unruly youths who seem intent on disturbing the peace. Steve wants to confront their leader Brett (Jack O’ Connell) and set them straight. But Jenny convinces him not to do so. What seems like a minor nuisance at first, quickly becomes a terrifying ordeal when Brett and his cronies decide to punish the couple for arguing with them. While Steve is held hostage by the youths, Jenny manages to hide in the woods where a dangerous game of hide-and-seek ensues with the captors.

Acting/thrills and chills

Despite being a complete unknown, the movie is quite well-made. The story, somewhat similar to that of “Straw Dogs”, is told in a simple yet thrilling manner. Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly do well in their respective roles. But it is Jack O’ Connell in the role of Brett, who manages to surprise with his delinquency and terrifying cruelty. The setting of the lake and the small town helps keep up the tension that develops once the couple come face-to-face with the possibility of torture, and even death. The director introduces the twist late into the proceedings, which provides a good shock to the viewer. However, the ending seems a little contrived and one can’t help but feel that the characters could have been handled in a better manner. Despite this, Eden Lake is a good one-time watch for fans of low-budget thrillers.