Dimension Extreme's movie lineup over the years has played out like one of those chocolate candy samplers...you know the one where you open it up, and you can read which candy is in which spot ? Well I always preferred to NOT look at the chart, and dive right in...needless to say, sometimes you bite into one that makes your taste buds jump with joy....and for lack of a better wording...some are like crap covered in chocolate.
Eden Lake is one of those "middle of the road" candies - you get the sweet taste right off the bat, but the longer you chew, you get that sick feeling in your stomach as your teeth start to hurt. Not to say that this particular film is gut wrenching, but the notion that the antagonists do such a good job of pissing you off, that the wait time to see them get their come-uppance is nearly unbearable.
Our story follows two lovebirds, played sickeningly-sweet by Kelly Reilly & Michael Fassbender, as they begin their romantic trek to Eden Lake, an out of the way relaxation spot on the outskirts of the English countryside. Their "perfect" getaway hits a snag almost immediately when they encounter the most annoying and maladjusted set of youths ever laid eyes on since The Children of the Corn. These British punks (and punkette)almost succeed in bullying our happy couple right off of the beach, using their attitudes (and a very nasty Rottweiler) as their implemented tools of high-school tyranny.
Things seem to cool down for a very short time, but a flattened car tire by a convienently placed broken bottle sets off our male lead, and he decides to track down the youths by identifying their bicycles, breaking into one of their homes, and nearly getting caught by one of the juveniles' fathers. After a return to the beach for some snorkeling, our couple notices that their beach bag is missing,along with their car keys. When the two start off on foot back into town, they are almost run down by our offending group of ruffians, in their newly stolen vehicle. Once they are confronted (and vehemently deny) any wrongdoing, a weapon is pulled by the gang's leader (played to vicious perfection by Jack O'Connell), and his dog is accidentally killed, this sets the thugs' ringleader into a tailspin, and the bloodshed ensues (en mass).
Fassbender is injured after a car accident when our couple escapes (not really) from our group of youths gone wild, and is tied up and tortured in the woods while his girlfriend can only look on in horror, and this is where the hatred builds for the tormentors (at least in my eyes anyway !) - these kids needed a super-sized ass-kicking, and I couldn't wait for it to happen. This can only be looked at as a testament to their acting prowess - to make you literally despise them as they dish out the hardcore punishment to our devoted duo. The cat & mouse games are well-played and the pace is tense and gripping - will the couple make it out of the woods safe & sound ? Will the gang of punks taste the bitter sapidity of revenge ?
You are going to have to reveal these answers for yourself by watching this movie - which isn't necessarily a movie that garners enough oomph to view over and over, but will surely anchor your buns to your couch for a taut 90 + minutes where you will see intense, building terror, some decent gore, and a suitable (sort-of) surprise ending. All in all, this adds up to a decent watch, or even a cheap buy (got my copy for 4 bucks) - but don't expect it to find too much revolution time in your DVD player.