Sometimes I cry when I watch a movie, and sometimes I yell furiously. By the time the ending of Eden Lake rolled around however I was doing a wild combination of both. Eden Lake has a power similarly evoked from The Strangers and Them- fucked up people doing fucked up things for no fucking reason. With Eden Lake however, the idea resonates a bit harder, taking gang members and putting them in the place of psychopathic murderers- since gang violence is a harsh reality and although scary, psychopathic murderers are less frequently found. The ways in which this movie chooses to tackle the subject is pretty damn astounding, and I must say my head is swimming with emotion.
Steve and Jenny are taking a weekend over at Eden Lake- a remote and mostly closed off quarry. While trying to relax on the beach, a group of local hoodlums plop down next to them and start causing one ruckus after another. Their dog shits on the beach and threatens Jenny, the leader Brett, flashes his penis to Jenny, and when Steve asks them to quiet down and turn down the music they berate him with all kinds of douche baggery. After a while the gang leaves, and Jenny and Steve spend a quiet night alone. The next day offers up trouble however as after a swim Jenny and Steve find their bag missing and the car stolen. One guess as to who is responsible for that! Yup it's those meddling kids again- and this time things get a little more serious. After a confrontation gets out of hand, and Brett's dog ends up stabbed the group stake out Jenny and Steve to get their revenge. What happens next is so brutal and realistically terrifying you will hardly believe your eyes.
What I found to be the most unsettling is just the gang's disregard for anything or anyone other than themselves. Let's see.. ummmm you stole a fucking car and all of their belongings and then your dog gets stabbed by accident and you lash out full force? The lack of thinking on the gang's part just baffles me- as it usually does when I read about gang violence. That's probably what makes the entire film so scary- is that this isn't some unrealistic thing that could never happen in a million years. Kids are scary. Period. Brett is so fucking aggravating that I can't even talk about it properly. Seriously what was he even thinking? Yes yes I know he wasn't thinking and that's the point but it just drives me completely nuts!
The way things escalate in this movie is another thing that makes me scratch my head and once again shows the true power of authority. It's pretty obvious that none of the other kids wanted to do anything to Steve- but a few snide remarks from Brett has them grabbing knives and box cutters like it's no ones business! And don't even get me started on Paige....what a major- excuse my French, CUNT. If it's possible I think I may have hated her more than Brett and to anyone that has seen the movie can I get a Hallelujah for what happens to Paige?
Ok so it's brutal, it's violent and terrifying but it's also extremely thought provoking as are most movies of this nature. I thought one of the less obvious things examined, was the way that gang and hoodlum violence tends to affect anyone it comes in contact with. The chain of events that happen and who ends up with guilt, and being distraught was quite startling. The best example of this being when Jenny flags down the help of a passing car. That moment of realization was so heart breaking to me- I could feel Jenny's absolute fear and distress- and then the thought of the brother and what he will think- it was really quite an astounding look at the two sides of violence. We have two sides- both believing they are in the right and both in some way shape or form being majorly affected by the outcome. It's the vicious and cruel cycle of violence and more importantly gang violence. It's like an evil disease that will never be able to be stopped and that on it's own terms is wildly depressing.
And then we have the ending. Holy cow. I have to be honest with everyone...I cried like a baby. It was truly one of the saddest and most frustrating things that I have ever witnessed. I had my own ending cooked up in my head while reading other reviews but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would amount to what it did, and I'm still reeling from it as we speak. Just the complete and utter unbelievability and the thoughts that must have been going on inside Jenny's head...wow. It was maybe the most horrible nightmarish type of situation that I could imagine. Just. Awful.
All in all there was so much honest emotion bubbling out of this movie that it was almost too much for my heart to handle. While a lot of people feel that Jenny's actions were downright stupid and frustrating- I have to disagree and say that when placed in that kind of situation all logical thinking goes straight out the window. Well actually if some stupid hoodlum flashed me his dick I would tell my boyfriend to pack it up and to go somewhere else- but whatever. The point is, this movie is traumatizing. To me it was one of those fetal position, hands clenching your cheeks, hysterically convulsing kinds of watches- but maybe that's just me? Anyways- truly disturbing and a must see for those willing to have their hearts torn out and then pieced back to together slowly.