Based on a true story, Eden follows a young Korean-American girl, who in 1994 was abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, as time passes she realizes that her only way to survive is to join forces with her captors.
A compelling watch, Eden is the kind of unexpected hit that you find yourself unable to pause and return to – it has to be watched from start to finish in one sitting. The reason, well, you spend the first half of this film trying to work out just what is going on, as you begin to go on this hellish journey with Hyun Jae (Jamie Chung). The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more grisly.
Cleverly you are sheltered from any graphic detail in terms of what the girls actually do when they’re brought to various parties, nightclubs and pornography film sets. Instead you are a second pair of eyes for Hyun Jae, figuring out as she is, what is going on, why she’s here being held in a 10 x 10 storage unit and what her fateful future holds. What is brilliant about this film is that you really don’t know who to trust, and that there are twists and turns at every opportunity. The film really doesn’t turn out how you expect it to, and you are playing a complicated guessing game at every throughout.
The cast is solid and led by an impressive Jamie Chung who carries the film with ease. She plays both the innocent and later the intelligent influencer very well and provides a stark contrast to not only her capturers but also the other girls kept in confinement with her, some of which have grown accustomed to this way of life and begin to play the game for what it is.
Supporting Chung are Beau Bridges who plays Bob Gault, a ruthless and corrupt Federall Marshal who runs the organization with little mercy; and Matt O’Leary who plays the troubled Vaughan, who’s past and wrong life choices have led him to this destination. All of the characters have their distinct traits which you can identify with and pin point straight away. Bob Gault requests no sympathy from the audience, he runs this operation under the façade of a pillar of the community and underneath it all profits unremorsefully on the actions of the girls. Vaughan has moments in which he battles with his conscience over what he’s doing and you can immediately spot his vulnerability, as does Hyun Jae, which keeps you gunning for our female lead as she patiently figures out how to get the better of those who keep her.
Full of suspense and intrigue, Eden is a highly watchable film with notable performances and a gripping storyline. A thriller from start to finish and well worth a watch when it comes out in cinemas on the 19th July