Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Christopher Ross

QuickView: Eden Lake (2008)

Eden Lake quad poster

“Why don’t we just find another spot?”


It is easy to write off cinematic violence perpetrated by children as nasty and exploitative, but here it serves purpose — with children as the aggressors there is no obvious desirable resolution once things spiral out of control. Feeding on middle class fears about hoodie-clad youth gangs, Eden Lake strips away the fantasy layer of a typical slasher, leaving a violent thriller that is all the more haunting for its stripped down simplicity. By avoiding the predictable route to catharsis James Watkins is able pose more searching questions about class conflict, how civilised communities share the same space and self-segregate, how small frictions can snowball, and where responsibility lies for managing situations, though he has no clear answers to offer. We experience the film through the eyes of a couple looking only for a quiet weekend away but we come to realise that their mere presence is a provocative act, however undeserving of the outcome. After a nerve-shredding 90 minutes that feels considerably longer, I found myself exhausted, drained and, filled with myriad thoughts, undeniably impressed.


QuickView: Terminal (2018)

Terminal quad poster

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”


Beneath Terminal‘s very pretty neo-noir exterior, colourfully drenched in neon and sulphur, lies a palpably empty world populated by a handful of shallow characters. Margot Robbie manages to bring vibrant energy to Annie, which is more than the rest of the cast can achieve — Simon Pegg in particular seeming miscast. The perpetual twilight (the film almost demands to be watched late at night) and modern noir setting bring to mind the atmospheric Franklyn, but without its purposive depth. The lack of attempt at world building may be explained by the dreamlike approach to storytelling, repeatedly quoting from Alice in Wonderland as if to suggest that the viewer should accept Terminal as a similar series of scenes that operate by their own internal logic. Perhaps but, as I learned as a child, a dream is only interesting to the dreamer — to everyone else it is an interminable bore.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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