This movie begins with a man who wakes up, naked, in darkness, lying in a pool of mud deep underground, with no memory of who he is or why he ended up there. Turns out he’s beneath a giant genetically-engineered tree designed to supply energy for an entire city - the movie details the man’s search for his identity and journey to the surface. From this description alone, I know some of you are pretty much on board already.
The shakycam cinematography serves the film incredibly well, and lends a visceral feel to the opening sequence, fifteen minutes that refuses to burden itself with dialogue or exposition and just focuses on a guy trying to force himself to move with the little strength he has left. There’s a sci-fi backstory to this tree and the darker side to the energy it provides, of course - whether it gets satisfactorily explained is really up to the viewer to decide. There’s probably no more than 500 words of dialogue within the movie, and although diagrams and maps on the walls of the Eden Log complex (along with Franck Vestiel’s direction) manage to convey a surprising amount of nonverbal exposition, you could either conclude that the script intentionally omits plot details from a completely envisioned backstory or that the film’s conceit is ultimately a scattered group of nonsensical loose ends. Given how ambiguous Eden Log is during its latter half (including a legitimately insane ending and a rape scene that could either be interpreted as a horrific, disturbing hallucination by one of the characters or a severely offensive portrayal of the act by the film’s director), both arguments have merit.
Watched this on Tuesday immediately after Lost and realized it was the ultimate double feature: awful CGI effects, bizarre fantastical concepts… during both, I could not look away.