Eden Lake (UK, 2008)

Modern monsters

Modern monsters

Thrillers are meant to take us to places we don’t want to go in real life; horror movies should take us even further. So the best horror movies are ones that are showing us things we don’t want to see: this can be through ‘gross out’ or through the narrative. Eden Lake does both and it’s a terrific horror movie.

A nice middle class couple are terrorised by feral kids in the middle of the countryside. An unusual mix but it’s convincingly presented; James O’Connell’s psychotic Brett is truly horrendous. The kids as monsters feeds from reporting that (some) youngsters are out of control. They aren’t and they’ve always been subject to negative representations. However there’s more than the ‘them and us’ ‘monsters vs. civilised’ as the terrorised turn monstrous too.

It’s not a film I enjoyed watching but I’m glad I did because I’m not where the characters where.

2 Responses

  1. It sounds interesting, I was unable to see this in the cinema despite wanting to due to the 18 certificate which a decent horror film always has. But this intrigued me: ‘However there’s more than the ‘them and us’ ‘monsters vs. civilised’ as the terrorised turn monstrous too.’ This is something Clive Barker heavily deals with in his novels and films, so is Eden Lake, in the end, actually as original as the premise sounds

  2. Being original in genre films is extremely difficult; you can’t offer something complete different but you can combine, and evolve, elements in new ways. I haven’t seen Hellraiser, but Eden Lake is different to the sympathetic monsters in Nightbreed. (Incidentally, your evaluations are fine).

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