A group of individuals in a specific situation perishing in the hands of a ghost or a psycho- it’s the bread and butter of the horror genre. Is it possible to work wonders with creativity inside such a typical genre format?
Watch Eden lake for the answer.
Here the menace is a group of 13 year olds. The victim is a elementary school teacher and her boyfriend who sets off to spend the weekend in a deserted lake side national park.
The great thing about the screenplay is the way the conflict builds up. The kids (a girl included) are not devils who have no qualms regarding killing people. The conflict builds up between these two sets of individuals when the boyfriend asks the kids to turn down the volume of stereo in the beach. They don’t take this kindly. Everything builds up from their subsequent boorish behaviour to a stolen car to a dead dog to murders.
In the usual slasher movies the villain is always upto his task, that is killing people. He never shows any qualms or mental weakness regarding this. There is no development of character. As we say of the joker in ‘The dark knight’ the villain is absolute with no beginning. But here are a group of guys doing things impulsively and being gradually pushed into more and more atrocious acts to prevent or absolve the backlash of their previous acts.
The heterogeneity of the pack makes everything more real. All of them are not of the same mindset and constantly pulls the group in different directions.
And now the most brilliant part of the movie- The unconventional ending.
Towards the end the story spills over from the lake side to the parents of the dead children and the movie breaks away from the constraints of a conventional thriller.
This movie left me disturbed. It some how showed me that most (if not every) crimes are not absolute events but depends a lot on circumstances and also on a lot of silly inconsequential details and transient mental states.
Warning: Don’t expect a popcorn ending.