Review: Eden Log

Review: Eden Log

I was digging through the sci-fi section of the Netflix On-Demand the other night, skipping quickly along as usual (I’ve seen almost everything there) and came across a movie called Eden Log.  The cover art looked interesting so I decided I should tune in and give it a chance.  Well, I gave it a chance and it pretty much blew it.

The movie was shot through a heavy filter to make it appear black and white without actually being black and white.  Highlights of color showed up here and there and sepia tones leaked through.  This convention has been used in many other films and, personally, I find it visually interesting.  When you can see what’s going on, that is.  The lighting was so blacked-out that often I had no idea what on earth was happening.  Movement from scene to scene was almost random due to this transitional barrier.

The movie was shot with only hand-held cameras – another technique that seems to be gaining a degree of popularity.  Some people have problems watching films that are shot like this, but I’m always open to something new.  They did an okay job when they didn’t have to move around too much, but, again, transition was crushed by erratic camera-work.  The dialogue in this film could have all fit on one side of a napkin, aside from the expositional parts which were placed conveniently throughout the film to feed key plot development.

The entire film had the feel of what should have been a video game but somehow became a movie.  A man wakes up in a destroyed high-tech facility with no memory of himself or the events before.  He must then find gear, navigate the maze of strange corridors, avoid beasties and search for clues about who he is and what is going on.  Clues are provided to the character (and the audience) in chunks just bite-sized enough to reveal part of the plot without giving away the next phase.  Eventually the main character meets an NPC and brings her along for a while.  And, of course, the end brings the final clue which tells the protagonist what has been going on the whole time and reveals who he really is.

While it would have made a fun game, it was a less than mediocre film.  The sets were done very well and the bad guys were properly freaky without being overdone.  All-in-all, it looks like the set designers and make-up department did an excellent job while the director, cameramen and editor got a little too artsy with the whole thing.  I would recommend avoiding this one unless you have nothing else to watch.