DVD REVIEW: THE CABIN / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: MATT THOMPSON / SCREENPLAY: MATT THOMPSON / STARRING: MATT THOMPSON, KIMBERLY ALEXANDER, GINA COMPARETTO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Cabin (AKA Bloodline) – written, directed by and starring Matt Thompson – offers up a smarmy pseudo-intellectual script, reaching far above its station. The film goes for a folkloric spin somewhat like the Swedish flick Wither. Opening in 1779 with a clash between American settlers and a shaman following the death of his tribesman, Thompson peddles a tired view of Native Americans; vengeful and supernatural. The curse, in this case, haunts the surviving settlers' bloodline.
Brett (Thompson) is on his way to becoming an ordained deacon but is – no surprise – riddled with doubts. Against his better judgement, he tags along with his friends and ex-girlfriend to his families’ (up-until-then) forgotten cabin, where the curse is at its strongest and most malign.
Brett’s friends are a thoroughly unlikeable bunch and the acting is about as wooden as the cabin itself. Kev (Jesse Kristofferson) is the kind of tired male stereotype who has been killed, maimed and tortured a thousand times over in horror movies, and Davy (Christopher Fontiero) is two-dimensional despite his girth. Chelsi (Comparetto) and Katie (Alexander) are little better than cardboard cut-outs; forgettable and throwaway.
The film is intellectually bankrupt, with little comment on racial politics or America’s bloody history. The narrative butter is spread very thin, and ultimately the plot is just another tenuous reason to visit a cabin in the woods and knock-off spoilt young adults. Yet despite the plot discrepancies, predictable ending and being about as scary as corduroy trousers, it’s largely well shot. Thompson may be one worth watching, but The Cabin certainly isn’t.