Ten Days Of Horror Films – Day #6: Cabins
Please note: Ten Days Of Horror Films is compiled into ten separate lists which identify individual genres of horror with each day in the list containing three movies: my favourite movie from that specific genre, an honourable mention, and a big ol’ loser.
It’s the last weekend before Halloween – I hope you’ve got your bite-sized candy ready (one bag for the kids, and the other for yourself) and your jack-o-lantern design picked out, because the time is nigh! You know what else is nigh? Ten Days Of Horror Films coming to an end. I know. So sad. But for now, let me give you a selection of “cabin” movies you can watch as you slice, dice, and gut your pumpkin. I’m not overly impressed with the whole “cabin in the woods” trope. It’s just been done so many times that I find any movie centralized around this premise to be frustrating versus scary. You can practically make a checklist for any “cabin” movie and it will apply across the board. Cabin in the middle of nowhere? Check. No land lines or cell phone reception? Check. People investigating noises outside by themselves? Check. Despite my dislike, I’ve line up a couple of good ones for you that are a bit more original, and one that tried to be somewhat original, but dropped the ball in a big way. Let’s take a peek.
Evil Dead II
You may wonder why I chose Evil Dead II over Evil Dead I. Though they’re both good movies, I find the second installment to be much more daffy and thereby a little more entertaining. I feel like the sequel found its niche and just ran with it. It’s like when you find a good fitting shirt so you buy five of them (or just get the one and wear it every day). Where the first movie played both sides of the scary/funny coin, the second played more into the witty acting style of Bruce Campbell and overall didn’t take itself very seriously. Because this movie was pretty self-aware and worked harder on being funny than being scary, it’s my pick for best “cabin” movie.
Though you’ve got a few young adults shacked up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, this isn’t your usual premise for a “cabin” movie. This goes a different route with a quarantine type situation which makes for the antagonist in this movie being every character as they all grow suspicious of who’s sick and who isn’t. The ending falls a bit short, but because this movie created a following of people who all know they ought not “sit next to Dennis”, it winds up on my list of recommendations (especially if you and your friends like a good “inside” joke).
I hesitated to put this on a “cabin” list, but I researched some other “cabin” lists and it would seem that if there’s even mention of a cabin in a movie, it counts. You have a little bit of cabin in here, a little bit of an underground mine, a little bit of time travel premise, and a whole lotta stink. Because I thought the movie would mostly focus on the mine, I thought it might have potential to be like The Descent. But this movie just couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Cabin? Mine? Time travel? And like so many scenarios where you have one hand in too many pies, it falls short. Like super short. Like me trying to long jump over the grand canyon. Because of the dull character development and the novice attempt at explaining time travel, this one’s a big dud. However, might I recommend a movie that is a bit scary and has time travel? Give Time Crimes a shot. It’s Italian so there are subtitles, but it’s a super cool flick that does time travel right and is so delightfully spooky while it’s doing it.
Am I alone? Does everyone else love “cabin” movies, or can we all agree that we don’t need to see any more of them for at least five years? Should I have named Time Crimes as my favourite? There’s a house in that one….houses are like cabins…right?