EDEN LODGE

2 out of 10

Release Date: 24th August 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Andreas Prodromou

Cast: Cyd Casados, Ben Gardner Gray, Ellie Dickens, James Killeen, Aggy K Adams, Garry Mannion, Jake Unsworth, Ivy Corbin, Andrew McDonald and Georgina Blackledge

Writer: Andreas Prodromou

Trailer: EDEN LODGE

Screen-shot-2014-02-09-at-9.28.51-PM-620x400Competent acting can’t save this unscary and utterly derivative brit-horror. Which is a shame because there are a lot of badly acted horrors with better plots and ideas than this sorry exercise in how to bore an audience silly.  That the director has put in enough effort to present this as a professionally produced movie it’s a bitter pill to swallow that all his efforts have been misdirected.

Eden Lodge is a slasher flick with a blunt knife and a massive plot hole that punctures the entire film’s internal logic, come the big reveal (the slasher’s identity). Scooby Doo would’ve been proud when the killer’s identity is brought into the light, but then it throws up more questions than it answers. Anyway, I can’t go into details like that as I leave it to  Joe Pesci II to do the spoiler heavy reviews, so hang on.

Warring fiancees (CYD CASADOS – ROBERT and BEN GARDNER GRAY) are travelling through rural England when their car breaks down. A helpful farmer sends them to a reasonable B&B up the road. It’s quite nice actually except for the fact that the cast begin to get killed in a variety of tedious ways. And that’s it. Who’s the killer? Who will survive?

There’s not a lot to say about Eden Lodge except it’s just not scary. It’s like an episode of Crossroads but without the wit. The script is humourless and unadventurous. The thin characters are largely flat and only serve as the next victim to be tediously stalked and chopped. Also I’m seeing a lot of bear traps in these kinds of movie. Two this week, the other in the way superior, Awaiting.  Very undemanding viewers who don’t like surprises and only welcome predictable films will probably enjoy this as a tepid time passer. The riddle of the killers i.d. isn’t a a hard one to figure either and I was wondering why the makers were bothering to keep it a secret apart from on-set Health & Safety concerns.

2 out of 10 – A wet and dreary horror with no scares and no atmosphere. It’s a shame because it’s fairly well made beyond that. A waste of time. Not to be confused with the ace Eden Lake. This is NOT a sequel.

Review by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher below

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

Advertisements

One thought on “EDEN LODGE

  1. Review by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher

    A child gets older, then younger, then older. An unhappily married couple check into a B&B for a night till their car is fixed but stay three nights without noticing (either there was a lot wrong with the vehicle (which is possible seeing as it’s been driven over a dying supporting actress) or the repairman was incompetent or greedy). Time plays tricks so subtle that no-one in the film realises they’re being manipulated. Or maybe the film is badly edited. And why is our hero driving over dying supporting actresses?

    EDEN LODGE begins, as these films so frequently do, with our disposable young women being quickly disposed of by the unseen villain. (The film adopts an old-fashioned moralistic approach, killing characters depending on how few clothes they’re wearing. As well as reinforcing the horror genre’s strict sex=death code, EDEN LODGE even has a militantly pro-marriage stance whilst at the same time being critical of religious bigotry whilst simultaneously glorying in the slaughter that the religious bigotry engenders, even though the film invents the religious bigotry to enable the slaughter in the first place.)

    The first act of violence done, we see a retro-Hitchcock title sequence. Alas, these titles promise sophisticated suspense, suspicion, suave matinee idols swanning about with quips and cocktails and inscrutable blonde women being seductively mysterious yet hopelessly helpless as they experience light-hearted hi-jinks, thrills and spills, and nail-biting yet humorous set pieces. They’re great titles, and the best thing in the film, but EDEN LODGE is aiming more for VERTIGO than TO CATCH A THIEF. (And falls disastrously short – despite the film’s attempt to be a variation of PSYCHO.)

    At last we meet our glumly humdrum heroes: a married couple, she’s American, he’s British (but the actor seems to attempt an American accent briefly), they have a young son, of oddly yo-yoing age. They’re trying to patch up their marriage following an unspecified crisis. Driving through the night he runs over a dying lady but (to add insult to murder) mistakes her for a deer. This causes the car to break down. Fortunately a scary farmer (obviously the killer) looms up out of nowhere and directs then to Eden Lodge, the local guesthouse with a Bible-spouting landlady (obviously the killer) and a guest who looks like she’s training for a career in pornography (the splendidly-named Aggy Kuk) (obviously the killer). She spends much of her time in various states of undress despite it being Britain and therefore cold. I think there’s meant to be an erotic charge between her and the husband, but I missed it. Meanwhile the farmer has a showdown with a drug-smoking Australian with a baseball cap and a tent (another obvious contender).

    Day breaks and a horny-handed son-of-the-soil-style handyman arrives to look at the car but spends more time looking at the wife (he’s obviously the killer too). Meanwhile the landlady’s son appears: lank of hair, wearing glasses, it is painfully obvious he’s really the killer. Round about this point some of the characters discuss the stomach wounds business in RESERVOIR DOGS. Unsurprisingly this turns out to

    be a mightily clumsy plant: the information gleaned comes in handy during the finale.

    The car unfixed, night falls. Sex almost occurs, people wander mysteriously and strange sounds are heard. Day breaks, our handyman returns, still unable to fix the car (for God’s sake it only stalled). Meanwhile dad goes off to the pool to stare at Miss Kuk and mum is left holding the baby/toddler/embryo/toddler/baby. Night falls again (the handyman having fixed the car too late for them to go wherever they’re meant to be going though they seem to have forgotten all about that) and the whole cast of obvious killers is slaughtered, or revealed to have been slaughtered already. The killer turns out to be obvious. (It’s possible that eagle-eyed readers will have deduced the killer’s identity from clues in this review. My clues are better than those in the film, which mostly involve a pair of wellington boots stalking their prey.) The film dwindles down into a very slow-paced amble with axes and garden equipment being wielded with a minimum of threat.

    Reader, I must admit two things. Firstly I did not spot the gigantic plot hole, which, according to my editor, means the film collapses in on itself (alas my editor has forgotten where the hole was) (unless it’s to do with the economic non-viability of a guesthouse with a guest-slaying policy) (though that means they can’t post negative reviews on Tripadvisor). Secondly, I got the killer wrong. The film gives us a deliberate embarrassment of obvious killers so there’s no tension. When the killer is unmasked, instead of going ’wow that’s amazing’ you just go ‘well, that doesn’t surprise me’. And it won’t. It’s the sort of film where you expect everyone to have literal skeletons in the cupboard (and at least one of them does). But there’s a twist. As the film is shoddily put together and poorly edited, it means that sometimes things happen which seem to be mistakes. In one scene a character vanishes mid-scene without explanation. I thought it was bad continuity. It was the big clue. So I was defeated by the film’s own incompetence and I’m sticking with that excuse. But, honestly, anyone who’s surprised by the reveal clearly hasn’t watched enough Scooby-Doo.

    EDEN LODGE gives the impression of having been made by people who have heard about horror films, but have never seen one. If you’ve never seen a horror film then you will still probably hate it if you have any sense. The acting is uniformly sub-par, most of the actors looking like they should be in the sort of spoof where they’re introduced with captions saying ‘obviously the killer’. Our heroes are indescribably dull. The baby/whatever is quite good though. The story is dreary and disjointed. I suppose if you’re interested in amateur amputations you might find some fun here, you weirdo. But I can be no more positive than that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s