Review – Cabin Fear (or, Seclusion) Made Me Create a New Rating
I’ll be honest, I’ve been in a writing rut for a few weeks. I was focusing my energy on finishing the second draft of my play, launching a travel blog with Stormy and another friend, and outlining a novel. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t find a horror movie that made me feel anything, whether it’s a good feeling or a bad feeling. That was until a few nights ago when I was browsing Hulu and found something special.
They aren’t even subtle.
A group of friends go to a secluded cabin for a weekend. It’s a plot device that’s used over and over again in horror movies. I understand why: when you’re secluded in the woods you have an excuse for the characters to talk about how they don’t have cell service (can we just kill this trope?).
They’re at the cabin for the wedding of Grant and Sarah, a couple with as much chemistry as a brother and sister–and not the VC Andrews kind. They’re joined by their closest friends who fit into horror cliches perfectly:
- The Black Guy: Carter
- The Dumb Slut: Trish
- The Final Girl (who really turns out to be the killer): Dani
- The Comedic Perv: Jay
- The Creepy Groundskeeper (WHO THEY INVITE TO THEIR WEDDING): Walter
- The awkward single girl who’s literally the only breath of fresh air in the movie: Beth
We learn everything we need to know about their relationships through clunky expositional dialogue that rivals the writings of Brian Griffin.
Now, I want to say this now and get it out of the way. Cabin Fear was written by and stars Matthew Wise. Like, who do you think you are? Tommy Wiseau? I think that’s an important point to bring up because of the one scene I can’t cleanse from my eyes.
There’s a lot of talking in this movie. Too much talking. Too much relationship drama. Too much trying to get us to feel something for these characters. If it weren’t for the tiddies and a certain other parts of this movie, I would consider it a Hallmark Channel horror movie. All that’s missing is the quirky baker for Sarah to fall in love with over Grant, the obnoxious banker who doesn’t believe in spooks.
There’s five kills in this movie and they’re not memorable in the slightest. If you’re making a shitty horror comedy then at least do something fun with the kills. I understand this was a low budget movie but so was Nightmare on Elm Street and we’re still talking about those death scenes. The only death that was somewhat creative was Beth’s death where the killer put some kind of poison in her insulin shot. It was unique and used an established character trait to its advantage. That’s what I want to see in a horror movie.
The jokes fall just as flat as the kills, which is why I question this as a horror comedy. You can tell the writers’ main inspiration for their comedy comes from the Family Guy writers’ room trash bin. Because comedy is different for everyone, just like horror, I was going to be lenient until the One Scene.
Sarah and Grant are having boring white people sex in the morning. Someone sneaks into the room, leading the audience to think it’s the killer. But no, it dumb slut Trish coming in the scare her best friend who’s having sex with her new husband with the door wide open. Scared silly, Sarah falls off Grant’s dick just as he’s reaching orgasm and comes on Trish’s face. Like, this guy has a water gun for a penis. I don’t have one and if you listen to the podcast then you know I’m waiting until marriage for sex, but I’m pretty damn sure penises don’t operate like a water gun. It was gross-out humor, which is only funny to twelve-year-old boys and doesn’t belong in a movie that’s trying to pretend it’s smarter than it is. Fuck you Matthew Wise. And then they try and play it cute by having two other characters in the kitchen say “that was unnecessary” like they’re trying to be self-aware. He’s a writing tip: if you know there’s a 90% chance a joke won’t land and that it is unnecessary. Maybe don’t write it you sick fuck.
On the topic of sex, this movie has some weird notions about friends and sex. Matthew, I don’t know if you actually have friends, but we really don’t talk about sex that much, we don’t watch our friends make out in their underwear and we don’t just walk into their bedroom while they’re doing it. Unless it’s by accident (you know who you are). It’s just weird. And gross. No one acts like that in real life. Don’t use the incestuous group from Friends as your only example of friendships.
Bland. Bland. Bland. Bland. Bland. Bland. Nice tiddies. But bland.
As I said before, the characters in this movie are nothing but bland replicas of every stereotype to ever exist in a horror movie. Ever. I read on one of the IMDb reviews that this movie was made by horror fans. That’s all hunky dory except that if this was intended to be a satire then the writers should have made fun of those stereotypes rather than feed into them. Make the “slut” a computer science genius or some shit.
But they had two minorities in this movie, so the black guy wasn’t the first to die. Good for them.
Sarah sucks. She just really, really sucks. She faints at the sight of blood, and when it becomes clear that there’s a killer stalking the cabin, she chooses to pick a fight with Dani about how she’s clearly in love with Grant. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DO THIS MATTHEW WISE DO YOU KNOW THAT WOMEN ARE CAPABLE OF CARING ABOUT MORE THAN MEN. FUCK.
Grant is boring and has the personality of a rock. He’s so boring I don’t know how either of these girls fell for him. Like, come on ladies. You can do better. Well, maybe not Sarah, but Dani can do better. Stop crying over him and get yourself a lesbian lover in Paris.
There’s nothing good or terrible about it. It’s the average quality of any straight-to-DVD horror movie. The only thing I can complain about is the music.
The score of the horror movie is what makes or breaks it. If you don’t have a good score to make your audience feel uneasy, then your “scares” aren’t going to land as well. Cabin Fear’s soundtrack sounds like Matthew just bought a CD of public domain melodies and threw them in where he could fit them. They did nothing for this movie.
Also, the color of the blood looks orange. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t look right, and it’s weird, and I don’t like it.
The IMDb reviews were among the many reasons I wanted to review this movie. Back in the good old days, my favorite thing to do after watching a movie, good or bad, was to stroll over to the message boards and partake in a lively discussion. But then IMDb decided to do away with happiness and removed the message boards. I personally blame Amy Schumer, but I’m just petty.
Now, I have to rely on IMDb reviews to get my fill of cattiness, and boy the reviews on this movie. Let me tell ya.
Is it me? Am I the one that doesn’t get this movie. The only one that doesn’t see the hidden genius of Matthew Wise’s twisted mind? A 3.6 on IMBd makes me want to believe this move is the pile of poop I see it as. Come out my brothers. Come out and let your voices be heard, there’s no need to be afraid.
This movie gets a Fuck Off. That’s right. I’m making a new rating. Fight me.
(The official website is also terrible. Get a better server.)
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