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EDEN LAKE artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 90m 53s

Release date 12/09/2008

BBFCInsight Contains strong bloody violence and sustained terrorisation

Director(s) James Watkins

Cast includes Miachael Fassbender, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Turgoose, Bronson Webb

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 02/09/2008

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

EDEN LAKE is a horror drama that charts the violent confrontation between a couple planning to spend a romantic weekend at a beauty spot and a gang of local youngsters intent on violence and revenge following a dispute over the volume of music being played.


Violence is graphic and highly personalised. In a torture scene, knives are used to cut and stab a man who is bound by barbed wire. While some care has been taken not to show much of the actual slashing, the infliction of pain and injury is the focus in this lengthy scene, its horror multiplied by the gory aftermath and the man's screams. There is clear sadistic relishing in the man's suffering, most prominently manifested in the ringleader - aged around fifteen - who goads his friends into performing the brutal acts. The fact that the attackers are youngsters adds an unsettling layer. Even when there is no or not much gore, many of the violence incidents convey a level of naked hatred and sadism that is both real and terrifying. A woman stabs a thirteen-year old in the neck with a shard of glass, causing much bloodletting. An Indian boy - out collecting specimens and not part of the gang - has a tyre placed round his neck, petrol poured over him and is set alight in an incident with strong racist overtones. The ringleader punches and kicks his friend repeatedly in a sustained attack until the boy dies from his injuries. This work shows a variety of knives in lethal and effective use - an ordinary kitchen knife, a hunting dagger, a Stanley knife, a flick knife and a cut-throat blade. Finally, the entire work feeds on and is sustained by simple terror. The terrorisation takes a variety of forms, is unrelenting and ends only when the film concludes. Some of the scenes are conveyed by a hand-held camera and this lends a frightening immediacy to the terror and the violence. The drama's narrative - supported by location and characterisation - is rooted in the real and contemporary world. Against such apparent ordinariness, the unspeakable acts of violence, torture and terrorisation are all the more horrific.

There is a single use of very strong language ('c**t') written in spray paint on a billboard. There are numerous uses of strong language. Other language includes some uses of "Bitch" - invariably "f**king bitch"- all aggressive, and all directed at women. There is one scene when the ringleader deliberately exposes his flaccid penis through his fly in an insulting gesture to a woman.


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90m 53s
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