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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Eden Lake [Blu-ray]

 

(James Watkins, 2008)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Optimum Releasing

Blu-ray: Optimum Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:57.666

Disc Size: 19,383,439,840 bytes

Feature Size: 15,926,489,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 19th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2062 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2062 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Interviews with cast and crew (32:19 total):

• writer/director James Watkins (8:38)

• actress Kelly Reilly (7:47)

• actor Michael Fassbender (4:57)

• actor Thomas Turgoose (4:38)

• producer Christian Colson (6:49)

• Behind the scenes featurette (5:51)

• Q&A with James Watkins (16:17)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:48)

• TV spots (1:08)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This decidedly British take on the likes of Michael Haneke's FUNNY GAMES and the French shocker THEM finds young teacher Jenny (KELLY REILLY – MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE) and boyfriend Steve (Michael Fassbender – HUNGER, 300) enjoying a peaceful holiday at the eponymous idyllic beauty spot. However, Jenny and Steve's tranquil break is thrown into anarchy when a group of teenagers surround their site and begin to victimise them...

 

 

The Film:

This fierce, thought-provoking ‘survival horror’ movie from ‘My Little Eye’ co-writer James Watkins sounds like a tabloid headline: Lovers’ Lakeside Hoody Horror. The romantic peace of Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender’s remote idyll is shattered by a gang of kids with a loud beat-box and a boisterous Rottweiler. Verbal confrontations escalate into knife-wielding violence, then the couple are hunted and tortured in the surrounding woods.

This is not, however, a Daily Mail rant about feral chavs. Instead, Watkins uses stomach-knotting tension and tongue-slicing horror to explore the complex dynamics of anti-social violence. We identify with the victims throughout, but Watkins also depicts the complex peer-group pressures within the gang and the pain and confusion behind its leader’s eyes. The film’s one major fault is that Reilly’s character repeatedly acts in ways that serve the plot, but which run contrary to rational human behaviour. By contrast, the shattering downbeat ending is well earned and genuinely shocking.

Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Eden Lake (as of the writing of this review without a Region 'A' North American Blu-ray release - US DVD is HERE) has modest technical stats for the transfer to 1080P but seems to hold up well enough. The image quality shows some grit and minor grain with some decent shadow-usage cinematography (one of the bigger pluses of the film). There are a few instances of depth. It's good but not reaching spectacular heights for the visuals. This Blu-ray probably isn't far off and dual-layering may not have done much more to the appearance. There isn't an abundance of distracting noise.

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2062 kbps holds up as well as the image. There are some deft and sharp separations - plenty of effects to shock and discomfort you. It perhaps loses a point or two in the depth but things are reasonably consistent. It's decent but not particularly crisp. There are optional English subtitles for those you can't handle the accents and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

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Extras :

There are quite a lot of talking heads via, occasionally interesting, interviews - although it always felt kind of piece-meal to me. There are about 40-minutes worth including bits with writer/director James Watkins, producer Christian Colson, actress Kelly Reilly, actors Michael Fassbender + Thomas Turgoose. A slim behind the scenes featurette, a 16-minute Q&A with Watkins, trailer and TV Spot round out the supplements.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm afraid I wasn't such a fan of this highly unsatisfying film. It had some strong positives - establishing the plot, the performances - but it was just too... disgusting for me. I don't know if we are supposed to leave our empathy at the door - or continue to be desensitized to this type of extreme cinema but I felt kind of sick-to-my-stomach afterward. I know many will get a lot more out of this than I did. The Blu-ray is modest but you can easily tell it is 1080P and it has some extras that fans of the film may wish to indulge. The sensitive should beware but it has some reasonably strong critical reaction - the final decision is yours but I can't endorse. 

Gary Tooze

August, 2010


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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