The Cabin

A young couple visits a remote cabin in the woods but on the way meet a suspicious stranger who holds a murderous secret.

Harry (Christopher Lee Page) and Rose have a really bad relationship. Bickering in the car for five hours as they drive from the city out to a remote cabin, their relationship has all but dissolved. Harry’s thought is that if the two of them just got away to his family’s retreat things would have time to get better. What they don’t realize is that Sven (Erik Kammerland) has already arrived and hacked their neighbor to bits and is rummaging around a cabin nearby. As the charming couple arrives they soon realize that they are trapped by a psychopath.

As the charming couple arrives they soon realize that they are trapped by a psychopath…”

Written by and starring Erik Kammerland, The Cabin is a very average thriller with some lovely shots, a few bits of gore, some suspense, and absolutely no rhyme or reason. We have no idea why anyone is doing anything. We don’t know why Harry still wants to be with Rose despite the fact that they attack each other verbally through half of their scenes. We have no idea why Sven has appeared and murdered the owner of a nearby cabin. We have no idea why Sven decides to start trouble with two strangers after having murdered someone in the first 5 minutes of the film. We have no idea why the subsequent cat and mouse game begins when no one has a single reason to do what they are doing.

As I mentioned, Harry and Rose get out to his family’s cabin which is situated on a small island at the center of a lake. On the far shore is Sven, his victim, and an unexplained need to stay there. Once Harry and Rose realize that they might be in danger they attempt to get back to shore, to their car, and to safety. Sven inexplicably wants to keep them there. After committing a crime, one would reason that it is best to go unnoticed and attract no further attention. Yet, Sven really wants more victims and more chasing and traping and all manner of interactions with two people that really hate each other.

We have no idea why Sven decides to start trouble with two strangers after having murdered someone in the first 5 minutes…”

Trapped, in a remote location, with a killer. This describes nearly all of the slasher movies from the 1980s but they worked because the highlights were the murders and a very light notion of a plot. Kammerland here tries to mix crime thriller with the slasher genre aiming for a sort of Cape Fear in the forest but everything falls flat due to a tremendous lack of motives.

I do have to remark that Charles Doan gets some wonderfully composed shots of the countryside and lake. Tobias Falk’s sound work is great too. I would cite the performances and their lack of depth but really this falls squarely on giving the writer giving his characters no clear wants or needs aside from doing what they are doing in the moment to fill screen time.

This had some potential to be a creepy Rear Window meets Cape Fear in the woods but it falls painfully short of entertaining.

The Cabin (2018) Directed by Johan Bodell. Written By Erik Kammerland. Starring Erik Kammerland, Christopher Lee Page, Caitlin Crommett, Thomas Hedengran.

5 out of 10 stars

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