Eden Log (2009)
Directed by Franck Vestiel

Starring Clovis Cornillac Gabriella Wright

There are some films that deserve at least one extra star simply because they don't let a lack of investment capital get in the way of lofty ambitions and "Eden Log" is just such a movie. Obviously filmed for very little money, this sci-fi-horror film manages to combine elements of "The Bourne Identity," "The Descent" and "Resident Evil" on a shoe-string budget.

The French language "Eden Log" opens with an unnamed man emerging from mud in a dark pit, a flashing light making his underground surroundings visible for milliseconds at a time. What follows is his journey to the surface -- and his long road to remembering who he is and what the hell he's doing in an underground cavern.

The similarities between the amnesiac male of "Eden Log" and the Milla Jovovich character Paul Anderson's "Resident Evil" are a bit too close for comfort. Instead of undead zombies, our French hero faces off against "Descent"-style mutants. What unfolds is the story of an underground facility set up to grow some kind of amazing plant life. The facility was beset with an epidemic that turned all the employees into Descent-style mutants. Yeah, very similar to "Resident Evil." But while "RE" didn't pretend to be anything more than junk food, "Eden Log" strives to be something much, much more. In a word, it's French.

And it's pretty good. The DVD features an English-language version and the French version as an "extra." You should only watch the French version because, honestly, the dubbing just doesn't cut the mustard in the English language version. Basically, in English, the movie sucks. In French, it's passable.

What you ultimately get is a derivative, thinking person's sci-fi thriller with some horror elements thrown in for good measure. The mutants of the film, which make it qualify slightly as a horror movie, look pretty cheesy and one action-fight sequence really has the movie buckling under its low budget. But you like arty sci-fi films like "THX-1138", you may enjoy "Eden Log." (That's another movie that this film derives a lot of inspiration from.)

A passable French sci-fi film, but far from great.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


Posted by GTRAD on June 10, 2009

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