Horror Movie Roundup #3: Slither, An American Werewolf in London, Eden Lake

The first two films in this batch of horror reviews work quite well together, but Eden Lake is definitely an outlier here. Nonetheless, here are my takes:

Slither [2006]
Slither [2006]
A loving tribute to early 80s horror B-movies, Slither tells the tale of a small town that is over-run by a plague of worms that is turning its denizens into all sorts of creepy monsters. There’s a little bit of everything in this horror-comedy, including zombies, blobs and other grotesque freaks, and fans of Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks and Michael Rooker will get a kick out of this. Rooker, in particular, is as enjoyably creepy as always. The special effects are over-the-top and rather well done, and they enhance the film’s cheesiness. Some jokes fall flat, and the story is full of cliches, but Slither is good for what it is. Worth seeing for fans of the genre. 6/10

An American Werewolf in London [1981]
An American Werewolf in London [1981]
I was pleasantly surprised by this cult classic. When two Americans backpacking through England are attacked by a werewolf, one of them turns into a werewolf himself. The locals refuse to acknowledge the existence of the monsters, so it’s up to the American to figure out a way to put a stop to his own potential killing spree. There’s a lot to like in this film, as John Landis’ script is full of great lines (“A naked American man stole my balloons.”), and the Oscar-winning special effects still hold up today. It’s a fun watch overall, and I’m glad I was finally able to track it down. 7.5/10

Eden Lake [2008]
Eden Lake [2008]
“Relentless” is the perfect term to describe this lesser-known British horror film. When Steve (Michael Fassbender) and Jenny (Kelly Reilly) leave the city for a romantic getaway at a rural lake, their dream weekend goes awry when they run into a group of young hoodlums. Rather than move to a different location, the bull-headed Steve confronts the youths, and it doesn’t take long for things to escalate. The film gets increasingly violent (as evidenced by the image above), and it essentially becomes a game of cat-and-mouse between the kids and the couple. It’s a very bleak, punishing film, and I can’t recall ever being as angry afterward as I was with this. Some of the actions of all involved were questionable and left me frustrated, but there is no denying that this is both well-directed and well-acted. It’s just hard to recommend a film so full of despair. 6/10

Have you seen any of these films? What are your thoughts on them?

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31 thoughts on “Horror Movie Roundup #3: Slither, An American Werewolf in London, Eden Lake

  1. Victor De Leon says:

    I’ve seen them all. Good picks. I would rate your first 2 a bit higher but hey, that’s just me. I didn’t care for Eden Lake and I totally can relate to the despair and frustration it leaves you with. Good point.

  2. sati says:

    I really love Slither, I would watch it all the time but it’s really gross so I only saw it once, but it was so funny. Eden Lake is really disturbing movie, what’s horrifying is that I can totally see something like this happening in reality.

  3. le0pard13 says:

    I got a kick out of Slither. And agree to its roots going back to the 80s horror stable with its humor and gore. I’ll be mentioning another soon that had similar basis. Also great to hear that you caught up with An American Werewolf in London. I truly love and appreciate that one (especially its use of music, as you may have read at my blog). I do keeping hearing about Eden Lake. I may have to watch this sometime in the future. Thanks, Eric.

    • Eric says:

      Thanks again for the reminder on An American Werewolf in London, Michael. I really enjoyed that one.

      As for Eden Lake, it’s a well-made film but it sure left a sour taste in my mouth. Kind of hard to recommend it, honestly.

  4. Chris says:

    The violence in Eden Lake is despicable, I think we agree there. That film should never have been made in my opinion. I wish I could erase those awful scenes from my memory, but I can’t. The filmmakers succeeded on one level in making the film very disturbing, I’ll give them that. On another level, I feel like I want to slap the director for the torture scenes that potentially could inspire copycats. Sorry for the rant! 🙂
    An A. W. in London, good scares right there, and indeed impressive special effects.

    • Eric says:

      Haha, no need to apologize, man. I was pretty angry after watching Eden Lake, too. *POSSIBLE SPOILER* I like when films don’t go for the traditional Hollywood endings, but some sort of redemption would have been nice! *END SPOILER*

  5. paulbowler says:

    I haven’t seen Eden Lake, but didn’t mind Slither. The effects were very good in that, the story was like an old B Movie. An American Werewolf in London is a brilliant horror film, a real classic, the sfx and Werewolf transformation is the best ever! One of my all time favourites.

  6. Andrew says:

    Nothing but good picks here, Eric. Particularly Slither, which I think gets a lot less love than it really deserves as a gooey, icky, gross, delightful bit of body horror comedy, but I’ve also got to applaud the Eden Lake pick. That’s a very, very under-seen film and a really effective, grungy thriller. Plus, Fassbender is terrific (though Kelly Reilly is REALLY superb as the heroine here).

    Also can’t go wrong with London— it’s a classic.

    • Eric says:

      You know, I have to give credit to Eden Lake simply because it is such a well-made film, but it was a very difficult watch. I’m glad I saw it, but one time was plenty for me.

  7. ruth says:

    Never even heard of Eden Lake before but Michael Fassbender is in it?? I guess he’s not so invincible eh? It doesn’t sound like a good film at all. Plus there are sooo many lakes here in MN, there might actually be one called Eden, ahah.

    • Eric says:

      Yep, seeing Fassbender’s name in the cast was what drew me to Eden Lake initially. It’s not a bad film, just not a particularly enjoyable one.

  8. Rob Carraher says:

    I saw Eden Lake about 2 months ago after reading that it was a worthwhile horror flick. It definitely did its job in the way of being a horror film. But I was so disappointed by the fact it failed to release any catharsis for me. I was on the edge of my seat the entire film, and as gets to the end, I needed some relief and I never got it. Terrifying, but did not like it. I am with you, not something you would ever want to recommend. However, I have had many conversations about it, so I can’t say that it wasn’t an extremely effective film.

    • Eric says:

      Hi Rob, thanks for stopping by. I agree with you 100% here. Eden Lake certainly nails what it strives to accomplish, but I was hoping for some sort of redemption. It’s not often that a film can leave me feeling so angry afterward.

  9. John says:

    Fun fact: Slither was directed by a St. Louisan. Huzzah, St. Louis!

    An American Werewolf in London is a movie I was awfully “meh” about the first time I saw it. And then I saw it a 2nd time, on the big screen, and went bananas for it. Now it’s one of my favorite horror-comedies.

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