Eden Lake (2008) Director: James Watkins

Eden Lake is probably the worst nightmare scenario ever for a Daily Mail reader. Death By Chav. Very nice and boring middle-class couple Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender) go away for a romantic weekend in the woods/by a lake. It's actually a quarry. How romantic is a quarry? Any normal woman would be asking for a five star hotel in the countryside. Still, it's very twee, it's very summer, it's very austerity, and Jenny loves Steve - although he's the most annoying man on earth. Yes, it's Fassbender but a really wussy Fassbender.

Whilst at the quar...'lake'...some 'yoofs' spoil their peace and quiet with their rottweiler crapping next to Jenny and Steve's beach towels, their loud 'grime' music (Daily Mail readers will be puzzled as to what hell on earth this music is), and general 'effing and blinding. Steve confronts the youngsters, who tell him he's an idiot, and then they eye up a bikini-clad Jenny with their binoculars.

It doesn't sound too terrifying so far, does it? Just wait for Act 2. Eden Lake starts off in a bit of a silly fashion as Jenny and Steve aren't the warmest characters to love, but we then descend into brutal, nasty horror. It's unpleasant, it's icky, but it's a great piece of filmmaking. James Watkins has now gone on to direct The Woman in Black and is a huge talent.

Everything goes tits up when the naughty kids steal Steve's car. The lovebirds are left wandering around the forest at night and nearly get mown down by the joyriders. They confront the teenage rebels at a campfire and a kerfuffle starts, with Steve accidentally stabbing the rottweiler. This does not bode well. Do not mess with a chav's status dog, otherwise they will hunt you down like pigs, tie you to a tree trunk with barbed wire and repeatedly stab you.

Tings get messy here. We're into some really horrible stuff. It's very hard to see Fassbender with his handsome face being tortured like this, and Reilly turns out to be the kick-ass lead - as much as she can against those pesky kids and their stabby, arsony ways. You'll wince at some of the scenes, especially when she extracts a spike out of her foot. She fights back, covered in blood, mud, and grim bin juice. You'll almost cheer when she runs down the girl gang member who should have stood up for her sista - the look on Jenny's face as she does this is both extremely satisfying and unnerving at the same time. Jenny has become a killer like them.

There is no happy outcome - Eden Lake ends bleakly and it's a refreshing change. The film examines Nature Vs Nurture with 'lead chav' Brett (Jack O'Connell) being the product of a violent home where his father is no shining role model. The final scenes make this VERY clear.

It's upsetting and riveting - a clever British horror film which taps into gang culture fears and which deserves its critical acclaim.
4/5 really stabby things