I’m running through my favorite horror films of the past decade or so, in honor of October and Halloween. These next two movies both deal with childhood, albeit in very different ways.
“The Abandoned,” which came out in 2006, was directed and co-written by Nacho Cerdà and filmed in Bulgaria. Marie, who lives in America, is told that she has been left a farm in Russia. She travels to see the abandoned house and meets a stranger there, Nicolai, who tells her that he is her twin brother. Once there, both are trapped in the house and are haunted by creepy doppelgangers. This is an incredibly chilling tale that circles back to the early childhood of both protagonists. The story touches on the question of destiny – can we change our fate, or are we destined to only follow one path in our lives?
In 2008, the English film “Eden Lake” was released. Written and directed by James Watkins, the movie is notable for starring Michael Fassbender, who would go on to star in movies such as “Shame” and “Prometheus.” In “Eden Lake,” schoolteacher Jenny and her boyfriend Steve are spending a romantic weekend by a remote lake surrounded by woods. A group of children interrupt their solitude, and when they become obnoxious, Steve reprimands them. Events escalate until the couple are attacked, and Jenny must run for help. This movie explores some different issues, such as group-think and the corrosive effect of violence. How would we respond if threatened? The answer may surprise.
Next up – supernatural goings-on…