Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Strife Of Reilly

Eden Lake, Odeon Telford, Tuesday September 16 2008, 6.30pm.

A weekend break in the secluded beautyspot Eden Lake for Kelly Reilly's primary school teacher and her buff diver boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) gains nightmarish proportions when they become terrorised by a feral mob of local youths. James Watkins' thriller adopts the classic trick of using familiar horror movie tropes to address contemporary social concerns, in this case anti-social behaviour, knife culture, dangerous dogs and general all-round 'chav' fear.

The result is nasty, brutish and short, but nevertheless, in all senses, a bloody good film. The combo of social realism and intense, hyperdriven violence is an awkward one to pull off, but Watkins manages it superbly through ramping up the suspense and terror an extra level at judicious points. The film is also ably served by a starmaking turn from curvaceous ingenue Reilly, who manages to look magnificent even after being fully dunked in a tank of shit, and makes the audience care enough to carry them through to the heartstopping climax.

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