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Eden Lake

170 customer reviews

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(Jan 06, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Like a bad dream turned worst nightmare, Eden Lake is a "relentlessly tense and immaculately paced" (Twitch Film) horror-thriller about modern youth gone wild. When a young couple goes to a remote wooded lake for a romantic getaway, their quiet weekend is shattered by an aggressive group of local kids. Rowdiness quickly turns to rage as the teens terrorize the couple in unimaginable ways, and a weekend outing becomes a bloody battle for survival. Eden Lake is "fierce, thought-provoking ... and genuinely shocking" (Time Out London).

British director James Watkins’s directorial debut is an overtly moralistic thriller centering around a couple who are trapped and taunted lakeside by a gang of teenage bullies, led by a boy named Brett (Jack O’Connell). Warning signs to stay out of this camping area abound, in the spirit of myriad camping-trip-gone-awry tales, like the classic Friday the 13th. The challenge, here, is to subvert those warning signs in order to harness some minor sympathy for the alleged victims to be. However, Steve (Michael Fassbender) and Jenny (Kelly Reilly) are too wrapped up in puppy love to turn around, even when their GPS signal advises them to do so. As a gang of wayward kids pick fights with Steve and Kelly, the couple attempts escape... at first. But Steve’s desire for revenge impels him to search for the delinquents’ parents, which becomes the couple’s downfall. A good portion of Eden Lake is devoted to the chase, during which Steve and Kelly look increasingly swampy under caked on layers of blood and mud. These scenes are well done, fast-paced, and here, enacting fear, Kelly Reilly is at her best. But as the film progresses, one sees so many connections between the teens’ violence and the abhorrent behavior of their parents, that Eden Lake leaves no character interpretation up to the viewer. Yes, bad parents usually make bad teens. But a deeper investigation into Brett’s inner mind, or his ability to follow through with torture and the sadistic control he exhibits over his gang, would result in less obvious, and possibly more interesting explanations for criminal action. Though many Dimension Extreme films are cutting edge in the horror genre (see Inside), Eden Lake is not one of them. --Trinie Dalton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Tara Ellis, Jack O'Connell, Finn Atkins
  • Directors: James Watkins
  • Writers: James Watkins
  • Producers: Christian Colson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Dimension Extreme
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001G9CNI6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,665 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eden Lake" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Woopak VINE VOICE on January 23, 2009
Format: DVD
There have been many attempts at a genre film that emulates a very real feeling of horror that may happen in real life. I've seen quite a good number of them, some are decent, some are great but most failed to impress. Writer and director James Watkins' "Eden Lake" may have the usual clichés of horror suspense thrillers, the main premise offers nothing new, but what makes it very different is the fact that it carries a lot of effective humanity in its proceedings, that whatever it may lack in originality, the journey itself is rewarding--proves once again that true terror may just be out there.

Steve and Jenny (Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly respectively) is a couple very much in love. They decide to spend the weekend in the wilderness to have some quality time, and unknown to Jenny, Steve plans on proposing. Their time together is broken up when they ran across a group of aggressive of local kids. Rowdiness turns to rage as the teenagers terrorize the couple in unimaginable ways and the weekend outing becomes a fight for survival.

I wasn't kidding when I said that the film's set up is full of cliché. At first impression, I was ready to tell myself that the film was just another thriller until I saw just how the direction slowly unfolded. Sure, there were some cheap scares and some dumb behavior in the part of the protagonists that I didn't exactly buy into in the beginning, but thankfully the script abandons the flaws. What really got me into the film is the fact that even though there is very minor character development in the beginning, you get to know Steve and Jenny through their horrific experiences.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Von Raschke on December 29, 2008
Format: DVD
EDEN LAKE is a surprisingly great quality and well acted Survival/Revenge Horror film. It's a British film written and directed by James Watkins, who happens to be one of the screenwriters for the upcoming sequel to THE DESCENT. The film's plot is simple. A couple, Steve and Jenny, go to a lake out in the middle of nowhere to relax and spend some quality time together. Steve's ultimate goal of proposing to Jenny is ruined when they are harassed by a group of teenagers. Some back and forth trash talking goes on between Steve and the alpha male of the teen troublemakers. To make a long story short, things go a little too far and result with Steve being beaten and tortured. The teens panic and decide in order to not end up in prison that they must simply murder Steve and Jenny and cover their tracks. Jenny, who is normally a sweet and caring person, is now faced with the dilemma of finding the monster within herself in order to get her and Steve out of the area alive. And boy does she.

I was pretty much blown away by this movie. Next to INSIDE, ROGUE, and TEETH, it's probably one of my favorite Dimension Extreme movies. It's not so much the brutality of the film that made me like it, but the suspense that kept my eyes glued to the screen. Don't get me wrong, it IS a brutal film, but to me the suspense and emotion (and sometimes lack thereof) is what made the movie great. It started off as a run of the mill Survival Horror film and the characters of Steve and Jenny pushed the boundaries of the whole "so in love it's disgusting" couple that most films set up in order to make their inevitable demise THAT much more heartbreaking. It's clever but it's a cheap way to get the villain(s) of the film over. However, once the film went on, what slight feelings I had of disappointment soon left me.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 26, 2009
Format: DVD
When I first saw promos for Eden Lake, I classified it as being just another torture flick that provides sadism just for the sake of sadism, with no other true horror elements thrown in at all. Well, I was wrong, very wrong. While Eden Lake does offer some truly brutal moments of shocking violence, it also provides an equal amount of true suspense that really will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender star as a young couple who run afoul of a gang of murderous teens while trying to spend a romantic weekend together. What develops is a truly frightening, shocking, and bloody fight for survival that shows writer/director James Watkins hardly pulling any punches in showing the audience. Eden Lake's cast is surprisingly pretty solid, and Watkins' pacing is nearly pitch-perfect as well. The only real flaws of Eden Lake lie in its screenplay, as our couple does some pretty unwise things as situations develop, and the film's finale may leave you screaming at your television. Still, Eden Lake is a surprisingly good, and brutal, flick that is notable due to the slickness of Watkins' camera and the infusion of some great suspense, and is definitely worth checking out for horror fans that are seeking a little bit of suspense mixed with their brutality and bloody violence.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian R Yandle on June 20, 2011
Format: DVD
Somebody must have seen. Somebody must have heard. Evidently, someone was crafty enough to actually do their homework & make a horror film which sets out to do exactly what a horror film should do. British director James Watkins get it's right. Hoo boy! Eden Lake gets my vote for being one of the most brutal depictions of a vacation gone wrong that I've seen in many years. In the brutal tradition of Wolf Creek or High Tension, Eden Lake carries a big stick & reminds it's faithful viewers that no place on earth is safe from harm.

Steve & Jenny are just your average couple looking to spend a weekend away from the hustle of everyday life & Eden Lake seems like just the place to go. At first sight, it's rather ideal & the idea of spending a few days drinking lager in between making love is certainly appealing. Not to mention the atmosphere is rather lovely & romantic. What could possibly go wrong?

After a group of unruly teenagers repeatedly harass our love birds, things spiral completely out of control & the merciless group of kids in acts a plot of revenge which could only end tragically or with a severely traumatized couple if survival were even an option. It's obvious from the very beginning that these kids have some serious issues & their anger is unlikely to subside anytime soon. Over the course of an hour, Steve is brutally attacked by these young but murderous villains & stabbed repeatedly. Jenny's only hope is to somehow find her way out of the woods & seek assistance while trying to avoid these dangerous hooligans.

Unlike the typical slasher film genre, Eden Lake is extremely bleak in it's depiction of harrowing violence & the acts of terror unleashed on the unsuspecting world.
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