Eden Log

"Bad"

Eden Log Review


Credit where credit's due: Franck Vestiel's Eden Log grabs your attention immediately and doesn't relax its grip for a solid 20 minutes. A man (Clovis Cornillac) awakes in a pool of muck with a light pulsing on him every two seconds or so. He is in a cave of some sort but not much more can be gathered. That is until he finds the pulsating light that is emanating from a small contraption wrapped around a dead man's shoulder. Stumbling upon a small gated area, a simulation tells him that he is helping with the titular project and that he must go on, tangling with all manner of chuds and super guards along the way. The revelations continue, but this is about the point where you might consider walking into the theater bathroom, taking out your trusty Swiss Army knife and performing seppuku.

The trials and tribulations that face the man, who eventually finds out his name is Tolbiac, are those more suited that of a video game programmer than a young filmmaker. It is eventually established that Eden Log is some sort of natural habitat that holds a large plant with rejuvenating sap and roots that release a toxin that turns humans into the roving chuds. Among the monsters and the guards running around, Tolbiac encounters a being in what looks like a hazmat suit who ends up being a rogue female worker. Together, they attempt to find a way out of the labyrinthine root system, just as Tolbiac begins to feel the effects of the toxins.

There are more happenings that include a few carcasses filled with roots and some elongated video entries featuring the guards and Tolbiac. The latter goes a long way to destroying all the provocation that had been built up by the film's strong opening. Mainly corresponding in fits of grumbles, moans, and grunts, Cornillac's performance is ostensibly one of simple physical presence, and it calls for nothing but to summon the ability to run, mutter and, every once in awhile, tangle with a monster. It's an uninteresting performance that puts more stress on Vestiel's direction and writing than the French first-timer may want.

In 2006, Vestiel served as a first assistant director on Ils, one of the most acute and harrowing horror-tinged thrillers to come from France in the last decade. Eden Log deploys a similar scenario in that it is seemingly based in real time and revolves around one figure running away from a pack of intruders, though it is one set in a post-apocalyptic eco-nightmare rather than a country mansion. There are many reasons that Eden Log fails where Ils soared, but the most damning is that nothing ever seems to be at stake for Tolbiac. The monsters attack him about as often as they leave him alone and we're never quite sure what to make of the character's declining mental state besides a mildly violent outburst every so often. The audience isn't allowed to like or dislike the character in any capacity until the very end, and by then the cheat has already settled in. Like a video game, Eden Log accepts no emotional stakes in its premise and gives the viewer only the simple task of reaching its finale. At 98 minutes, a conclusion about an hour earlier would have been far more merciful.



Eden Log

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 26th December 2007

Distributed by: Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Impéria, Bac Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Franck Vestiel

Producer: Cédric Jimenez

Starring: as Tolbiac, Vimala Pons as Last botanist, Zohar Wexler as Technician, Sifan Shao as Technician, Arben Bajraktaraj as Technician

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Advertisement
Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.