Eden Lake 2008 ★★★★½

Holyyyyyy shit. What did I just witness?

Eden Lake is a truly under-rated and under-discussed horror masterpiece. I don't use that word lightly. From the opening credits to the final frame, the film is expertly crafted. It endows a sense of dread that's rarely seen in the genre, and although it's not a true 'scary film,' you will be horrified by what unfolds.

Michael Fassbender (this dude…) and Kelly Reilly play Steve and Jenny, a sweet couple on a romantic weekend to Eden Lake, a location that's soon to be renovated and demolished to make way for an upper class gated community. They encounter some over-zealous teenagers who, scene by scene, up the ante of antagonism and uneasiness. As you can imagine, Steve and Jenny don't get along well with the teens.

Once the terror begins, it never lets up. Make no mistake, this is no standard horror movie… This isn't a serial killer stalking a couple in the woods, this isn't a bunch of stupid college kids getting tortured in Europe, this isn't a tale of a horrific woodland creature who roams the woods… This is that feeling you get when you come across an unknown entity, the uneasiness of being around uncommon aggressiveness, this is violence begetting violence, this is 'How far is too far?'

The leads, both the Fassbender and Reilly, as well as the teens, are normal people in over their heads. No one here has special hunting training, no one is particularly adept at navigating the woods, and no one is entirely comfortable with the violence committed. It's a situation which begs the question "How did this get so out of hand?"

Overall, a phenomenal film that isn't just for horror fans. It will make you cringe, it will shake your core, and it will terrify you, but you know what? You physically react to it… It tears you up and it spits you out. Great cinema should do that.

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