Stephen Taylor invites his girlfriend, a nursery teacher (Jenny), to spend the weekend in Eden Lake, an idyllic and remote place in the woods. However, what Steve really wants to do while they are away is propose to Jenny. While camping at the lake shore, they are disturbed by a gang of youths. The next day, the couple realizes that they have been robbed and are stranded in the woods without their car. While walking through the forest trying to reach the road, Steve and Jenny meet the gang and they are brutally attacked. Steve is captured by the youths while Jenny is seeks a way out of the woods with the criminals chasing her.
This type of narrative shows a typical British Horror film because we see; the blood from where charcters have been attacked, the weapons used, charcters being issolated, vast forest spaces, the girl being left on her own to defend for herself and so on. However this also contradicts what a British Horror film is because we don’t see the normal story line to a film. When people normally think of British Horror movies they think of; a dangerous/villian man, the ghost/monster like character or the atmospheric music used within the film. However with Eden Lake the villian is a group of youths which is very different to the stereotypical Birtish Horror films so this gives the film a piece of originallity.
The characters within Eden Lake make the film British immediately because they are British themselves so they will not have to use an accent as much whilst acting or change much about themselves. We see the likes of actors Jack O’Connell, Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender and others. These are highly rated and well known British actors playing the characters in Eden Lake. The characters within the film also show the difference between certain classes within Britain. Them being; middle and lower class. The middle class characters being Jenny and Steve who are clearly wealthy and are able to treat themselves to certain luxuries. This is because we see Steve driving a 4×4 car which is an item of luxury and status, then we also see that he has bought an engagement ring for Jenny which looks rather expensive.
Whereas we see the other characters in the film such as Brett, Cooper, Paige who are in the lower class of Britain not have these luxuries. They dress rather ‘chav’ like and so do their parents. This also gives us the representation that the children are a lot like their parents. So as the film evolves and we realise that Brett has been a sufferer of child abuse because of his father, making the audience realise this is why Brett is capable of what he has done to Jenny and Steve because he has become a manmade monster (a product of his father).
The classes are also shown by the way the characters speak and use their body language. For example the lower class characters often swear and come across as aggressive which is what a lot of British people think of them. Then the middle class characters are well spoken, they are very judgemental of situations and do not like to cause conflict. However this representation I believe is unfair because anyone can be aggressive towards people or swear a lot just because they are part of the lower class within Britain does not mean they are all like this.
The location in which Eden Lake is set in is very British because we see the vast countryside, a lot of forest but then also the local communities within their pubs and corner shops etc… This is typically British because near enough every single town or city in Britain has a pub, café, corner shop and so on. The place in which Steve wants to take Jenny 9Eden Lake) is very British because we see the quiet, rural area. This is the type of place in which people who want a quiet weekend away in the countryside would want to go in Britain.
All together I believe that Eden Lake does strecth quite far to prove that it is a typical British Horror film because we see alot of British themed stereotypes, the typical British location, the slightly typical story line and so on.
Courtney from Study Moose
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