Happy endings. Years ago, these were the standard outcomes in the horror genre. Nowadays, we jaded human beings like things a bit edgier — and more unpredictable. Hell Lake is more like it. Now, mind you, the film is not based on an original idea. The filmmakers do tell us it is based on real events but that is the standard tagline appended to films these days which in many cases turns out not to be true, but no matter.
S eriously bloody horrible in every particular, and uncompromisingly bleak to the very end, this looks to me like the best British horror film in years: nasty, scary and tight as a drum. It is a violent ordeal nightmare that brutally withholds the longed-for redemptions and third-act revenges, offering only a nihilist scream and a vicious satirical twist in our perceived social wounds: knife-crime, gangs and the fear of a broken society. Writer-director James Watkins once worked on the reasonable horror-thrillers Gone and My Little Eye, and this comes courtesy of the production team that brought us the recent, much admired, but in my view slightly overrated British horror The Descent. Eden Lake puts all of them in the shade. And in its final act, as the face of anguished heroine Kelly Reilly becomes a wraith-mask of mud, blood and despair, she starts looking like something from a very English Apocalypse Now. Reilly plays Jenny, an infant-school teacher whose hunky boyfriend Steve has asked her away for an outdoorsy camping holiday by a lovely woodland lake.
Sign In. Eden Lake Mild 8 of 17 found this mild.