8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Violent horror, paranoid fantasy,
This review is from: Eden Lake [DVD] (DVD)
I watched an ex-rental version of this film and was surprised by the extent to which even the rental had so many extras including interviews with all the lead actors, two seperate interviews with the director, trailors, TV spots and cuts of the film in production. A great deal of these revolved around the media impact of the feature, the director being asked about why he made this film and what was his inspiration.
The director stated that he had hoped to create a "paranoid fantasy" and recounted a confrontation he almost had with some teenagers while expecting a house, there was a lot about whether or not hurt pride is sufficient to risk escalation by challenging behaviour that's just wrong and this has very clearly been integrated into the film. While the director acknowledged that it could give some cause for reflection he also said that he wasnt a politician or sociologist, it was close to social realism but that wasnt his intent.
What I will say is that some of the acting is very good, I'm not surprised to hear that some of the younger actors found performing some of the scenes upsetting, and the film is a survival horror feature. It did remind me of films such as Straw Dogs  [DVD], Wilderness [DVD] (although it is much better than the later and not as good as the former) and even Lord Of The Flies  and [DVD] The Wicker Man [DVD] .
It reminded me of the Wicker man because its apparent from very early in the film that while the main focus is a psychopath and his friends, whom he victimises and involves in his sick games, that the entire community is one in which violence is fostered as a way of interacting with one another.
The couple over hear shouting, swearing and aggression in the hotel room their first night, they speak to a waitress in a restaurant about their tire being punctured and she becomes defensive and antagonistic, they observe bullying and peer violence and the father of one of the children is portrayed as an aggressive possible alcoholic. Even the willingness of an "outsider" child to collude with the violence when he could call for help or assist with an escape. If there can be said to be any message at all in this film, it is that collusion with cruelty, with a "hard" culture, bears bitter fruit.
I think that the film was better for having watched the interviews before hand, it is nothing at all like While She Was Out [DVD]  an American movie that its been compared to which is much more of an action feature than a horror movie. Be warned it is a very harrowing feature, devoid of any hope. The feature I could nearest compare it to would be Wolf Creek [DVD]  and it contains similar messages for the unwary.