27th Nov2018

‘The Cabin’ Review (aka A Night in the Cabin)

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Christopher Lee Page, Caitlin Crommett, Erik Kammerland, Thomas Hedengran | Written by Erik Kammerland | Directed by Johan Bodell

cabin-art

There are many many horror movies that centre around a cabin in the woods and unsurprisingly, The Cabin is another that can be added to that list. It’s not a very inventive title but neither was The Cabin In The Woods and that turned out pretty great so I was willing to give this the chance.

Unfortunately The Cabin has a much lower budget to work with so the story isn’t as adventurous as its similarly titled counterpart. What we get is a young couple driving to a cabin in the middle of nowhere to get away from it all. The cabin is owned by the boyfriends family and he has fond memories of weeks away when he was growing up. Sound familiar? That’s because it probably is, you feel like you’ve seen it all before. To add to that, the nearest house, which is a boat ride across a lake away, is occupied by a serial killer. Well, I say serial killer but I just assume that. We see him kill at the beginning of the movie and he enjoys it, so I’m gonna say he’s done it before. From there, you’ve guessed it, the killer sets his sights on the couple.

Unfortunately one of the key reasons why The Cabin doesn’t work as well as other films of its ilk is because none of the characters are likeable. On the car journey, you soon realise that the boyfriend and girlfriend hate each other. And neither of them are right or wrong, they’re generally just not very nice to each other. Now I obviously know that couples argue and it doesn’t necessarily mean they shouldn’t be together but why these two decided a five hour car journey and a weeks night in a run down cabin together was a good idea I’m not sure.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the killer was entertaining and then at least I’d happily see the couple terrorized by him. But this is not the case. He doesn’t have charisma, he’s small and very un-menacing and well just a little bit weird. There’s not a whole lot that captures the imagination.

This is all a bit of a shame because visually and audibly I really enjoyed The Cabin. It has a good original score and tries a few different things that don’t completely work but I liked the idea of. Playing music louder than the on screen dialogue while scenes of the killer and couple played alongside each other is the moment that sticks out the most. While visually, the filmmakers make good use of their surroundings. The film is set in a beautiful location and there’s some breathtaking shots of the scenery. As a single shot, moments like the couple rowing across the lake and then one of the final scenes as a character motorbikes along an empty road, forest either side of them and a grey cloudy sky above, are really impressive.

So it’s a shame that the on screen action just doesn’t match up to other things and the cinematography cannot save what is a film that you will feel like you’ve seen before, and you’ve probably seen much better.

** 2/5

The Cabin is released on VOD and DVD on December 4th, from High Octane Pictures.

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