If writer/director James Watkins is to be believed, England comes straight from the pages of the Daily Mail. As much a brilliant, gripping and intense horror movie, Watkins’ Eden Lake offers his own take on the social structure of northern England.
Taking a break from the hectic life of the city, young couple Steve and Jenny head up to flooded quarry Eden Lake, to enjoy the countryside and a sleepy rural town before the developers roll in and turn the surrounding forest into a gated commuter community.
But as the city slickers settle down for a night under the stars, the local kids comes out to play and the rest of Steve and Jenny’s weekend break is far from relaxing.
Equipped with an array of knives and a mobile phone to record their wicked actions, the gang of ‘hoodies’ (whom coincidentally none of which don a hooded jumped) terrorise the visiting couple after stealing their car and then torturing Steve.
The film is superbly made, with brutal violence where necessary and supreme tension even during daylight hours, however, Watkins’ message comes over a little too extreme.
Even down to the parents, anyone with a tinge of a country accent is portrayed in a very dim light. The kids are conscienceless and the adults equally immoral. Of course these people do exist, our society is far from perfect, but rural communities are not the city loathing people Eden Lake would have you believe.