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DVD Review

Pack shot

Eden Log


Starring: Clovis Cornillac, Vimala Pons, Arben Bajraktaraj, Tony Amoni and Gabriella Wright
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 28 July 2008

A man wakes up in a cavern deep below the ground. Naked, he possesses no knowledge of his identity or location. The dead body next to him seems almost incidental to his concerns. Progressively climbing, he comes across different levels with evidence of technology. It is the remnants of a research facility. The mysterious organisation appears to be known as Eden Log. As his memory slowly returns, the man will learn he has an inextricable link with the place. The answer apparently lies on the surface, but he will need to avoid capture by people who want him stopped at all costs...

Although the mood lighting is very dark, and the plot pacing at times excruciatingly slow, Eden Log is nevertheless simultaneously curiously compelling. Much of the running time consists of Tolbiac crawling over or climbing rocks, and examining wire conduits, trunking, wire fencing and the occasional video sequence welcoming people to the complex.

It's not until halfway through that we learn the KC is the subject of an intensive search to prevent him reaching the surface and a secret to be protected. A researcher, wild roaming mutants, and a female who appears to know something about his identity and purpose are additional components in a film which asks more questions than it ever answers - right up to and including the conclusion.

The mutants themselves are intelligently filmed in quick, fleeting movements, and the sympathetic characterisation of the protagonist being obliged (not always successfully) to control his mutant urges creates a little tension where there is virtually none.

Comparisons have been made with the debut films of other notable genre directors. I can detect a little of Natali's Cube (a fantastic film that explains nothing), and a more notable influence from Lucas' THX 1138; however, to call this a 'thought-provoking and stylish sci-fi shocker' (as the press release does) is being just a touch too complimentary to a low budget feature which appears to imply (as do other similarly-structured examples, such as Primer) that you will only enjoy this if you are of a certain intelligence.

Having said that, mainstream viewers will find little to satisfy here. Eden Log is a good attempt at an original hard science fiction, but suffers somewhat in the entertainment stakes.


Ty Power

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