The way I see it, back in 2002 Eli Roth, with Cabin Fever, by his own words, brought horror back to the way it used to be: gruesome, bloody and a load of unclothed bodies. To follow, in 2003 we got Alexandre Aja’s, French “High Tension” that upped the ante quite a bit with the blood and gore and brutal, very realistic horror effects. For horror fans, this was all good, and we must have paid good money for these, because then we got movies like “Wolf Creek“, “P2“, “Frontier(s)“, “The Hills Have Eyes” remake and then we got this gritty, gruesome English job “Eden Lake” with Kelly Reilly before she was Dr. Watson’s fiance and wife in the two new Sherlock Holmes movies, and Michael Fassbender before he was Magneto. Frontier(s) has got to be the bloodiest movie I have ever seen, and another French import, “Martyrs” has to be the most brutal movie ever made, so this doesn’t quite reach that level of “how far can we go”, but this is definitely tough to watch in several places. Of course it’s hard to determine if you like something without seeing it yourself, but I did think this movie was good, it stressed me out, I felt for Fassbender and Reilly, I thought there was good attention to detail and the story was believable (I even liked the music), but I could have done without burning the kid to death, or the stomach churning trash dumpster scene, or even the end (I don’t think I deserved that after everything I just went through). So, to me, this is a good horror movie, but it’s tough to watch at certain places and it is brutally realistic.
Fassbender is nice-guy-in-love with lovely, peek-a-boo-with-her-kids, school teacher Reilly and they are off to the lake for a nice, peaceful weekend where they can cuddle and snorkel and sex and he plans to propose. On their way, they stop at a hotel where they are introduced to the most cretinous group of kids and adults that I would never want to run in to in my life. Well, they endure the night, head to the beach (off the beaten path), strip down to their skivvies and are immediately pestered by a group of angry, rotten, dickhead kids who smoke, drink, do cocaine and are brutishly foul in general. From the movie description, we know that these are the antagonists for our feature film, so we can get down to business – things go very sour from here on out for our moony lovers… bad, bad, bad, the violence escalating and escalating all the way to the very sad ending.
Again, I think this is a good horror movie, but it’s also a hard watch and had a few things I have done without – but this is well shot, well acted and well done. It also serves me as a good Cautionary Tale about going camping and why I should not.