THE CABIN *** U.S.A. / Sweden 2018 Dir: Johan Bodell 87 mins
Harry is taking Rose, his girlfriend, to his family’s old cabin with hopes of rekindling their troubled relationship. However, unknown to the couple, a psychotic killer has murdered the resident of the house across the lake. Harry and Rose will soon find their relationship is not the only thing they will be fighting to save.
Directed by Johan Bodell, THE CABIN is a simple but effective thriller. The plot of the film is straightforward… a couple trying to survive crossing paths with a murderous sociopath. Christopher Lee Page and Caitlin Crommett portray Harry and Rose, a couple spending the first half of the film arguing so constantly that you begin to care less if they run afoul of the killer. Thankfully, they reconcile in time to gain some degree of emotional investment. Erik Kammerland (also the writer) portrays the unnamed killer who dons an old man mask to stalk his victims. He remains an enigmatic character with undisclosed motivations for his behavior. While the cast does an admirable enough job, much of the suspense can be credited to a great score by Matt Donner. Donner’s music heightens the sense of danger throughout the film as the couple evade the murderous stranger. Without it, we just have a couple of people sneaking around a creaky old house. The film also benefits from an isolated and eerily beautiful setting and the director’s use of camerawork to capture the action of the chase, as well as emphasize the seclusion of the characters. THE CABIN is not without its issues. The couple’s constant bickering at the beginning becomes grating and tiring, and their reconciliation seems forced. Once the fight for survival begins, the leads make poor choices which should realistically lessen their odds of survival. For example, Harry rows across the lake … in daytime… toward the killer’s location… as if he is expecting to remain unseen. Additionally, was he really going to hit that organ key? There are also extended scenes of sneaking around inside the home of the killer’s first victim which, though the score maintains the tension, could have been trimmed for extended chase scenes. Ultimately, THE CABIN is a decent thriller which fans of “cat-and-mouse” action should find enjoyable but would have benefited from a few more twists and turns in the plot.
Review by “Big” Al Sievertson