Review: Johan Bodell’s The Cabin (A Delightfully Deceptive Suspense Thriller)

Relationships take a lot of work, especially when you’re in a long term partnership. Sometimes it’s all hugs and kisses, and other times it’s running from a grandpa masked, ax wielding madman in a secluded cabin. That’s basically Harry and Rose’s story. They decide to go on a retreat to Harry’s family cabin, both to revisit previous memories and to try and rekindle their dying relationship. It turns out someone else has decided to adventure to the property that weekend, and once he’s caught, he makes it crimson clear that he doesn’t want to be arrested for murder. Now, Harry and Rosey’s vacation becomes a cat and mouse game of survival as they try to escape a cunning psychopath with a personal vendetta. How’s that for outside interference? Written by Erik Kammerland, The Cabin stars Christopher Lee Page, Caitlin Crommett, Thomas Hedengran and Erik Kammerland. Find this suspense thriller on DVD and VOD December 4th 2018 courtesy of High Octane Pictures.

Shot under KW Studios and Coast Art Productions, The Cabin has more horror to it than I was expecting, but still managers to fit only into the suspense thriller genre. Sure, it has a bonus kill scene, three chase scenes, and a whole of creepy mood and atmosphere; but it’s biggest strength is the cat and mouse game. The Cabin is successfully and effectively suspenseful, highlighted with relate-able drama and classic horror film troupes. It’s gory and well acted, but it’s still not complete “horror.” Don’t let the cover art, pictures above, fool you into thinking otherwise. Despite my sentiments, though, The Cabin is still a really good movie. Buckle up for a wild ride! This is the first time I’ve seen anything from director Johan Bodell, and it makes me excited to see what he does in the future. One thing is certain, he definitely knows how to paint a picture and deliver a captivating feature film.

Leaving the comfort of your home can be stressful. So, imagine you’re the ones sticking out in a lazy town in the countryside while battling your own interpersonal demons. Awkward. Harry and Rose arrive at the cabin to work on their issues, but it’s obvious that one of them is much more the problem than the other. *cough* Rose *cough*. When they stumble upon a grizzly set of remains in the cabin – the first taste of gore this film has to offer – it’s kind of obvious who the killer is, and yet it’s still fun and exciting to watch them try and escape him. This production really used the breathtaking, natural scenery to their advantage. The young couple runs through the woods, up the hills, through the various other buildings on the property, and even boat across the lake. Which I didn’t really understand because that screams “here I am!” That’s probably The Cabin‘s second biggest strength – its location.

The Cabin is produced by Johan Bodell and Alec Trachtenberg. It features cinematography from Charles Doan and editing from Robert Sarkanen. Really, the only problem I found was two audio errors; however, that could be because of my digital screener. A delightfully deceptive suspense thriller packed with drama and outstanding performances, The Cabin is on DVD and VOD December 4th 2018 courtesy of High Octane Pictures. You know, December is a good month to curl up in front of the television and watch a good movie. We all need a break from Christmas movies every few days, right? I’d definitely recommend The Cabin. It’s not a full fledged horror film, but there’s enough scary content to keep viewers occupied and the combination of other genres makes this film a reminder that budget doesn’t define the success of a movie. A small cast, a beautiful location, a story that resonates with viewers, and the ability to create palpable mood does a lot more for the senses than a Hollywood blockbuster. Well done, cast and crew.

Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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