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Eden Log Poster

Eden Log is an atmospheric sci-fi/horror film from French director Franck Vestiel. It was the subject of mixed reviews at Toronto International Film Festival '08. The slow pacing, particularly in the first half, may be off-putting to some. Give it a chance and you just might like it.

The movie opens with a man waking up in a cave. He's covered in mud, doesn't know who or where he is or how he got there. He begins to explore the underground complex, which seems to have been some kind of hi-tech installation that has fallen into ruin. At first he encounters hostile creatures and the roots of a carniverous tree, but as he explores and starts to uncover Eden Log's secrets—and his own memories—he discovers the problem goes far deeper than that.
It's difficult to reveal more about the plot without spoilers since the movie is essentially the protagonist's journey of discovering both Eden Log and his place in it. Eden Log has a lot in common with games like System Shock 2 or Bioshock (thankfully without the latter's blatant references to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged). As the protagonist moves upwards level by level through the complex, he learns more about the story and his background. The levels are numbered so you can easily gauge his progress.

The movie has a fairly low budget, but is impressively imagined and designed. The world has been crafted in great, grungy, detail. It's good work given the amount of money involved. The cross between high-tech and organic elements is very interesting, as is the use of color, darkness, and lighting. It's atmospheric and immersive. The world is bleak and nearly colorless, dirty and gray. It's not somewhere you'd want to be.

The soundtrack is also excellent. It was done by the same group that handled the soundtrack for Martyrs (which was also at TIFF this year), and they've done a great job adding to the feel of the movie.

Eden Log isn't going to appeal to everyone. It's one man's physical and philosophical journey through a twisted, dystopian future. There is some action (more than I expected, actually), but it's not a fast-paced affair. Somewhat to my surprise I liked it a lot. Recommended if you're up for you're up for an artistic sci-fi flick.

3 and a Half Star Rating for Eden Log