Movie Review: Eden Lake (2008)

Time for another Month of Spooks review, and this one is of an actual horror movie, I swear. So what’s on the table today? Backwoods stuff? Great…

Ladies and gentlemen… “Eden Lake”.

A nursery school teacher (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) decide to just get away for a bit, and decide to go on a romantic weekend at the remote area known as Eden Lake. But after they confront som loud teenagers, their romantic weekend away soon turns into hell on earth. So now we have our backwoods horror-thriller. And fucking hell, this shit is unrelenting. I mean, it’s utterly compelling and it had me in its grip from start to finish, but it was also quite an uncomfortable watch, which isn’t really a detriment to the movie, but it doesn’t make it very quote, unquote “enjoyable”. I do like that there’s a natural and believable buildup/escalation from the youths just being a simple nuisance, to shit really hitting the fan, adds some nice layering to it, perfectly building up the threat of the movie. The story is dark, bleak, unrelenting, unforgiving, and uncomfortable, and that’s what makes it as solid as it is.

The characters in this… I honestly don’t know what to say. The two mains are fairly likable, they’re not terrible, they’re decently well developed. Kelly Reilly plays Jenny, a teacher who just wanted a nice weekend with her boyfriend. She’s charming, likable, and when push comes to shove, she’s surprisingly tough and clever, but in a realistic and interesting way. And Reilly is absolutely fantastic in the role. Next we have Michael Fassbender as Steve, Jenny’s boyfriend. He’s the kind of guy who loves joking around with his girlfriend, but he’s not a dick. And I found him to be an interesting character to follow in this. And Fassbender is great in the role. And then we have a young Jack O’Connell as Brett, the leader of this gang of miscreants (to put it lightly). He’s a horrible individual, taking pleasure in the suffering of others, being an absolutely unrelenting threat to our two leads. And I found him to be a solid antagonist for the movie. And O’Connell is great in the role. The rest of the cast is rounded out by people like Finn Atkins, Thomas Turgoose, Jumayn Hunter, James Burrows, and Tom Gill, among others, and there is no such thing as a weak performance here, they’re all good.

The score for the movie was composed by David Julyan, and I barely noticed it. I mean, there were moments where I heard it, and in those moments it was good and worked well enough for the scene. But for the most part I never picked up on it… maybe I couldn’t hear it over the racing of my heart. But Julyan usually makes great stuff, and the little I did hear in this was good, so I’ll say that it was good.

“Eden Lake” was written and directed by James Watkins, and I think he did a great job. The level of intensity is impressive, and it had me on the edge of my seat for pretty much all of the runtime. It’s fucking unrelenting, just when you think you’re getting a minute to breathe, it comes right back and fucks with you some more. And that kind of intensity I think works excellently for the movie, and I’d say that it makes it quite scary in that regard. And Christopher Ross’ cinematography is really solid too, creating some pretty damn good looking shots.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Eden Lake” is not for everyone. But if you want an intense, uncomfortable, and brutal backwoods thriller, then I highly recommend the movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Eden Lake” is a 9,56/10. So it does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Eden Lake” is now completed.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Movie Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Ah, the woods. Despite being filled with insects and sometimes murderous animals, I love the place. The smells, the sights… it’s all great. Really, I like hiking and camping. That’s it for now, let’s move on to the review!

Ladies and gents… “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”.

After Ricky (Julian Dennison) goes missing in the woods, his foster uncle (Sam Neill) starts looking for him and eventually finds him. But soon they decide to stay in the woods which triggers a nationwide manhunt for the pair. So now we have a wacky adventure that was heartfelt, fast-paced, and incredibly entertaining. There’s a surprising amount of layers to the plot. Not in a “complicated and emotional Oscar-worthy drama”, but in a way where it’s not just some typical one-note adventure-comedy. There are a lot of nuances to it that makes it really interesting. So yeah, this movie has a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all very quirky, unique, and endlessly entertaining. Sam Neill is fantastic as this old and grumpy man who doesn’t really want to take care of the troublesome kid at first. Julian Dennison does a really god job as the kid that really is the cause of the entire manhunt. I also want to mention that he and Sam Neill got excellent chemistry and I never got tired of seeing them interact with each other. We also got Rachel House as the child services lady that is after our “heroes” throughout the entire movie and she was great. We also got Oscar Kightley as an officer that follows Rachel House through the entire movie and he was really good and the two actors worked very well together. Overall I’d say that it’s a great cast, with all of them giving great performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Moniker and it was really good. I mean, it was a really odd and unique score, but I think that is why it was as great/fitting as it was. It has a very odd sound that I don’t know how to explain, but it wasn’t your conventional movie score sound, but I like that… makes it stick out a bit more. And like I said, it fit the movie very well. There were also some licensed tracks used throughout the movie that were overall good and also fit the scenes they were used in very well.

This movie was directed by Taika Waititi (who also makes a cameo in the movie) and I have to say that I thought he did a great job. It’s a very good looking movie with several shots in the movie making me go “Wow!”. But what I like the most with his directing is that it helps to elevate the humor in the movie. Speaking of humor, since this is a comedy… was it funny? Yeah, I laughed quite a bit. There’s a good mix of both visual humor and punchlines. There were points where I chuckled and there were points where I laughed out loud. So overall I’d say that the comedy in this comedy was pretty fucking funny.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is an incredibly charming adventure with tons of heart and personality. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great humor. Time for my final score. *Kaw kaw*. My final score for “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is now completed.

Shit. Just. Got. Real.