by Emmett Barlow
Whilst the rest of their friends have gone to the continent or to another urban sprawl. Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender) slip away from confines of concrete and Metropole for a romantic weekend in the arse end of nowhere. They do go down to the woods, and they get a flipping big surprise.
On the idyllic crisp water, soupy woodland and blinding beach of Eden Lake – A sweet spot of the English country side, soon to be terraformed into a string of luxury homes. Their hopes of escaping work, stress, hostile hoodies, knife crime and sharp objects on the ground evaporate when their bank holiday weekend is truly bollocks’d when they meet exactly that. The couple have to survive the relentless attack of a gang of local youths and escape the countryside.
Although Eden Lake has the chops to crack the flags with truly tangible tension, and a torture scene which will turn your tummy. It’s hard to ignore the testing trope of fearing the country side and its inhabitants and pretend there isn’t lager swilling, child slapping, wife beater wearing yobbos in the more over populated postcodes. Handled differently the film could have been easily discarded to the heap of horror hashes, but what James Watkins built and honed in Eden Lake he took onto The Woman in Black and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. In conjunction with solid leads, Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender, Jack O’Connell, Thomas Turgoose and Finn Atkins flexing their pubescent acting pecks to produce a truly fear-inducing British horror.