Horror Film Review -- 'The Cabin'

April 4, 2019


Johan Bodell's 'The Cabin' tries to balance a drama about a fraying relationship with a rural horror plot. While it is competently made in all departments, it does not break much new ground.

Eric Kammerland balances writing duties with acting in the role of Sven -- the inhabitant of a lakeside cabin and apparently the son of a dysfunctional European immigrant family.  A bickering upper middle class couple (Christopher Lee Page and Caitlin Crommett) visit the cabin across the lake and gradually discover the unhinged Sven's nastier secrets.

The small cast's performances are uniformly good but the parts seem underwritten at times. Sven emerges as a typical movie psycho toward the end and he is potentially too interesting a character for that.

Bodell's script draws interesting parallels between the physical isolation of the characters and their personalities (the couple spend the first act putting more distance between each other despite their attempts to reconcile, for example, while Sven is clearly a loner), but it does not quite trump the predictable outcomes.

Bodell's directing and Charles Doan's cinematography build atmosphere and establish a sense of American Gothic.

Horror fans that have watched all the seminal current releases should enjoy this film as a diversion. Moe casual viewers may appreciate the decent performances and the film's desolate rural ambiance.

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