Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Eden Lake

2008, James Watkins (The Woman in Black) -- download

A movie back from when Michael Fassbender was still a relatively unrecognizable face.... wait, what? Fassbender was Azazael in that British TV show Hex ?!?! My power of recognition has failed me !!

Ahem.  So, the final one. The last of the series. The best for the... oh  no, not really. In fact, it flew in the face of everything we avoid in this series, i.e. torture porn, but we couldn't stop watching. It was not a great movie but it was gripping, and I really had no clue where it would go, given this was not from the Fassbender star machine.

Fassbender and Jenny (Kelly Reilly; Mary from the RDJ Sherlock Holmes) are on a weekend trip to a flooded quarry where he and his scuba buddies used to go. Its a remote place, a romantic place away from civilization. Keyword civilized. This movie is the British equivalent to the American movies where people vacation in Alabama foothills and bump into banjo playing rednecks. But the rural chavs they run into are a hell of a lot more menacing than any inbred yokels.

It starts with foul mouthed kids at the beach. After a bit of a confrontation and Fassbender's attempt to be a diplomatic 90s guy, avoiding violence but only garnering more, the kids steal their car and gear. One accidental dead dog later and the leader of these kids is going nutzo. They chase the couple through the overgrown public park with intent to kill. What started as relatively harmless harassment becomes murderous torture, after they capture Fassbender and the leader records each of his minions cutting or stabbing him, so none will be exempt from the action. Jenny has to watch from her hidden viewpoint.

It was a gruesome movie where the city dwelling upper middleclass folk fear for their lives against the underprivileged. Really, that was the message. Even the quiet nerdy kid betrays Jenny when set against the sociopathic kids, and only gets a bucket of gas on his head for reward. City folk always feel a sense of superiority when comparing themselves to the country living folk, especially if none of them are stereotypes of friendly farming. This just took the idea and ran with it, and I know at least a few people who would probably never go camping after seeing this.

The movie does something unexpected for me, as I hadn't reminded myself Fassbender was still relatively unknown. They kill him. Sorely wounded during the stump & barbed-wire torture, he actually passes when Jenny runs for help. And after he dies, they pore the before mentioned gas on him with the idea of burning all evidence of their crimes. Jenny escapes, runs for the rest of the night before being rescued by the brother of one of the kids, who is out looking for them --- its after dark, after all and they are kids all alone in the woods.

And then she is brought back to the house so she can rest, cleanup and call the cops. Until she realizes the parents of the rambunctious psychos are all in the room with her. How do you think that will turn out?  Exactly.