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The Eden Theory (2021) Review

The Eden Theory gets off to an interesting start as Tom (Jesse Charles, Class of ‘85, Another Brick in the Wall) breaks into a school, makes himself a spear, and barricades the nearest outside doors. Unfortunately, after that it promptly becomes excruciating boring as we spend over twenty minutes watching him wandering around, scavenging food from the cafeteria, taking a shower, talking into a fan, etc. Occasionally he hears a strange noise and flips out, but all that we see is a stray dog.

Director Kyle Misak (Class of ‘85) co-wrote The Eden Theory with Jesse Charles, and they seem to have had an interesting idea for the opening. The school is in good shape, not long deserted and, judging by things left around, abandoned suddenly. It has a creepy, end-of-the-world feel to it that fits in well with the poster, and that poster is probably the reason why someone would be watching The Eden Theory.

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But rather than get to the mystery of why, the script just drags on like this. Films, like I am Legend and The Omega Man, had a hard enough time making long stretches like this interesting even with Will Smith or Charlton Heston as their star. Here it’s mind-numbing. Even more so because it all amounts to nothing because, after nearly half an hour, a detective (Trevor Snarr, Napoleon Dynamite, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!) shows up to take him home because his mother is worried about him. It was all in his mind

I wouldn’t blame anyone for bailing at this point, especially as there’s still nearly an hour and twenty minutes of The Eden Theory left. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I certainly would have after that waste of my time. Instead, I endured and found out that Tom has been having a rough time of it since his best friend Mack (Jasper Johnson, Dukeland, Shanty Town) disappeared. He’s a suspect, and his girlfriend Jamie (Brit MacRae, Neon Lights) is beginning to think he’s losing his mind.

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Unfortunately, The Eden Theory just plods along with an occasional flashback or Tom thinking strangers are staring at him. I don’t mind a slow burn, but this is more like smouldering embers, there isn’t anything burning. Or interesting for that matter. Everything is played so seriously, as if the filmmakers really believed they had a unique concept and were creating great art.

But no matter how deep and sinister The Eden Theory wants you to believe the situation is, it’s painfully obvious from early in the film just what happened. And from there it’s easy to guess why it happened. And that’s even without the flashbacks to before Mack disappeared. And despite the film’s artwork, giant UFOs have nothing to do with it.

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Granted, the filmmakers aren’t to blame for the poster, but they are to blame for the script and its length. There was no need for The Eden Theory to run close to two hours. The first half-hour is a colossal waste of time and could easily have been cut to ten minutes, fifteen at most. And that’s if it was kept at all, because apart from being dull, it helps give away the film’s not-so-shocking reveal.

Both Misak and Charles have a large number of short films to their credit, and The Eden Theory feels like a short expanded well beyond its breaking point, or perhaps two scripts Frankensteined together. Either way, it’s an abysmal failure that really should be avoided at all costs.

Indican Pictures has released The Eden Theory on DVD, VOD, and Digital platforms. You can check their website or the film’s Facebook page for more information. And if you’re looking for something similar but better, FilmTagger has some suggestions.

Where to watch The Eden Theory
Our Score

9 thoughts on “The Eden Theory (2021) Review”

      1. Warning: contains SPOILERS…I’m not even sure which parts were the reveal. Was he going crazy and hallucinating through the entire movie? Which parts were real and which were his hallucinations? Why did have that episode in the supermarket where he gets a headache and throws up? Brain tumor? Is there an alien or not? Is his girlfriend real? Since the detective was a hallucination, then everyone else in the movie could also be his hallucinations. What would the alien creature have to do with Mack? Was Mack a ghost? Nothing made sense and everything seemed pieced together randomly and I’m not sure what the movie was about. I stuck with it, watching the entire hour and 50 minutes thinking the acting is so serious and the movie seems well done….they’ve got to have it all come together in the end and make sense. Eventually they must let everyone know what is happening and it will all be worth it. Boy was I wrong. I want my two hours back.

        1. Jim Morazzini


          I took it as he killed Mack when he found out he’d slept with his girlfriend. Now his mind was cracking from the guilt and he was hallucinating.

          There were no aliens and no plot, his paranoia just made it seem like everyone was acting suspicious around him.

  1. PinkFlamingosForever

    It was a no from me. Gave up during the school part. Boring beyond belief.

  2. 22mm into the film , and I started seeking reviews something seemed off especially by the cover art . Sure enough one big waste of 22 minutes!! Glad I found these reviews and bailed before I fell asleep … terrible film

  3. Does anyone know the age of the actor who plays Tom Edwards? The character is supposed to be a teenager (I believe) but the actor looks about 30 years old. That was confusing, too. The woman playing his mother looks only about 10 years older than him. I was watching their interactions and thinking why is she treating him like a kid…wait, is he supposed to be a kid?!
    I googled Jesse Charles’ age and it looks like he’s keeping it a secret because you can’t find it anywhere. There are plenty of young male actors who would have been age-appropriate for this role. Just another strange aspect of this strange movie that I can’t make any sense of.
    Well, at least it was nice to see old Mr. Heckles again.

  4. Thank you so much for your review. I wont waist my time watching what appears to be a misleading poster to a boring movie. I thought it must be something really good looking at the thumbnail but if it has nothing do with the image it portrays then I’m not even going to bother. Thanks for saving my and other people’s valuable time.

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