A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Few positive messages with criminal and violent bullies terrorizing innocent characters. Some instances of caring for and protecting loved ones.
Positive Role Models
Jenny and Steve are loyal and affectionate to one another, but the rest of the characters are anti-social, violent, and vindictive.
The cast is predominantly White and male. But women feature in a couple of prominent roles, and there is some minority representation in the supporting cast. Differing social and economic backgrounds are portrayed, though this leads to conflict, and the characters from the lower-income homes are generally shown to be violent criminals with little regard for other people.
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Violence & Scariness
A parent strikes their infant child across the face. Two characters bully and physically intimidate someone younger and smaller than them. Characters threaten an innocent person with knives, tie them up, and torture them. They also pressure others to be violent and inflict harm. Bloody injuries and death shown. Characters torment a captured animal. Another animal is wounded and killed. Property damage as conflicts become more violent. Stabbing and cutting with knives. Some gore. An attempt to cut out a character's tongue. Attempt to burn people to death. Characters vomit because of trauma and injury. Character stabbed to death with improvised weapon. Character is hit by a van. A male character leers at a female's chest through binoculars. He also exposes his penis to her, on-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some light-hearted innuendo. Kissing in bed, topless male and female nudity. Sunbathing and petting on a secluded beach between a character in swimming shorts and another in a bikini. A character's penis is seen from afar.
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Language used includes "f--king," "d--khead," "arse," "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "d--k," "t-ts," "bitch," "f--kwit," "p---y," and "bloody."
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Products & Purchases
A planned gated community widens the class and economic divide in a local community. Characters are envied for their relative wealth and material possessions. Characters use their cellphones to film violent acts.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters -- both adults and teens -- drink and smoke. A teen forces another to snort a substance after they complain about being tired.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Eden Lake is a horror movie with extreme violence, strong language, and some nudity. Starring Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender as a couple who are terrorized by a violent gang of youths while on a romantic camping break, there are no positive messages, although the couple do show bravery and care for one another. Violence ramps up throughout the movie to the point where it is frequently sadistic and bloody, doing serious injury and harm. There is also on-screen death. Gang leader Brett (Jack O'Connell) is at the center of the violence, both carrying it out and urging others to do the same. Language is frequent and strong, particularly among Brett and his peers. It includes variants of "f--k," "c--t," and "p---y." There is also some topless nudity and the suggestion of sexual intercourse. In one scene a character exposes his penis toward a female character. The same character leers at the woman's breasts through some binoculars. Gentrification is hinted at being a contributing factor to increasing hostilities between lower-income locals and rich outsiders. There is occasional drinking, smoking, drug taking, including among the underage teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Strong performances from a talented cast help lift this British horror's so-so script to the point where it can be looked back on as an early outing for some notable British and Irish talent. Among Eden Lake's impressive cast, Fassbender stars unusually as a romantic lead, rather than the one carrying an air of menace. But his headstrong Steve still manages to aggravate the conflicts with the local teen delinquents. Meanwhile O'Connell is largely wasted in the underwritten role of violent ringleader Brett, as he dutifully spits and snarls his way through a list of movie villain clichés. Beating a path through the madness that unfolds is Reilly as traumatized schoolteacher Jenny. Yet despite starring, she is reduced to a foil for all the violence.
The movie's early, simmering tensions provide its most effective scenes. A sharper exploration of the inequalities that are hinted at driving the locals to become so lawless would've made for something far more original -- and horrifying.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.