Cannibal Cabin (2022) Review
Cannibal Cabin, formerly Cannibal Lake, opens in 2002 with a trio of vacationers, one of whom is very pregnant, planning to spend a weekend jet skiing at a lake next to what looks like an abandoned scrap yard. Instead, they end up meeting a nasty end at the hands of a bunch of the kind of masked cannibals that tend to inhabit places like this.
From there we move to the present day where a group of friends including Matt (Harvey Almond, Princess in the Castle, Smashed), Jonah (Matthew Laird, People in Landscape, Deadly Nightshade), and Chris (Richard Summers-Calvert, Edge of Extinction, Dragon Kingdom) are heading to a music festival they heard about from Faye (Mia Lacostena, Trumped, Animals) whom Jen (Jodi Hutton, Five Steps to Success, Stairwell) met at another festival while peeing behind a bush.
If this sounds familiar it’s probably because it is. They set off, bickering all the way only to find the shortcut Faye told them about leads to a closed road. They get lost and stop at a pub to ask for directions from the less than civil staff. “You out of towners always stop here to ask for directions”. The fact that the owner and his wife look like brother and sister is just another reminder that we’ve seen this all before.
Of course, the direction this charming couple gives them leads straight to another dead end. And of course, their van mysteriously breaks down once they get there. But at least they have the light of the full moon to hike to the nearest building, the one from the prologue of course.
When I saw Cannibal Cabin was directed by Louisa Warren (The Leprechaun’s Game, Scarecrow’s Revenge) I thought I was getting another Scott Jeffrey cheapie, but surprisingly he wasn’t involved with this film. For once I think I might have been better off if he was because this makes the likes of It Came From Below and Conjuring the Genie look good.
The script is by Charley McDougall whose only other writing credit is a romance called Sayonee. He does have producer credits on films I’m familiar with such as Freeze and The Haunting of the Tower of London as well as a thank you in the credits of 97 Minutes. Judging by the work he does here my guess is that he bought those credits during the film’s crowdfunding campaigns.
Not only does he deliver a storyline that is utterly predictable, the characters are so poorly developed and interchangeable that it’s hard to tell who is who. It’s easier to think of them as The Stoner, The Couple Who Can’t Stop Making Out, The Pregnant Woman, etc.
Even the last half hour, when the cannibals show up is dull and predictable. Characters in hiding have to watch their friends get tortured and killed, an escape attempt that leads to more of the cannibal clan, there’s even an attempt to recreate the dinner scene from the original TCM. It’s nothing you haven’t seen done before, and done a hell of a lot better.
Even the twist Cannibal Cabin tries to throw out in the final minutes fails. It’s obvious as hell and even if it wasn’t the equally obvious dollar store doll that’s supposedly just been ripped from its mother’s womb without getting any blood on it, would have ruined the impact anyway. Sadly, apart from an almost as fake-looking severed hand and a few moments of knife play that’s about it for effects.
Cannibal Cabin is a failure on every level, it isn’t even unintentionally funny. It’s just a near endless ninety minutes of poorly written, acted, and directed tedium that, adding insult to injury, doesn’t even have a cabin in it.