Two days on from taking in Blood Cabin and I still cannot make my mind up about the film.

Inspired in parts, crass in others, this slasher effort is everything and nothing like you expect from regular fodder in this genre.

The plot on paper sounds oh-so familiar – a bunch of annoying teens head out to the sticks to party in a log cabin, only to be picked off one by one by a psychotic killer.

So far so dreary right?

But Blood Cabin is a lot more than that, and for that kudos must go to director Drew Barnhardt for at least trying something different.

I’m not saying that is necessarily good (it isn’t a lot of the time), but at least they are trying.
The tone for the movie is set very early on, when you get a hammy Shakespearian-esque voiceover documenting the desires of the group of teens, who turn out to be incredibly tiresome in a staggeringly short space of time.

Booze, sex, drugs and all the other horror slasher staples are in evidence, that is until the entrance of the killer – Big Stevie.

And this is where Blood Cabin really takes its detour, as unlike the norm where the killer will be this menacing specimen, silently stalking the corridors, Stevie is a bald, middle-aged, paunchy father merely looking for kicks.

We get scenes of him tidying up the house while a couple are shagging upstairs, shots of him preparing a birthday party for himself and much more bizarre, random stuff.

While at first the flick looks as though it is going to skimp on the bloodshed, it certainly doesn’t once it gets into its stride, with plenty of scenes to delight horror fans.

On the movie goes, and just when you wonder what they will throw in next comes a final 15 minutes or so that is a massive tonal shift from what has gone before, and not in a good way.

There is a final pay-off, but it smacks of the director and his team simply wanting to show how ‘cool’ they are.

Sure there are many good points on show here – some scenes are genuinely funny and there is a massive amount of misdirection on the part of the director to keep the audience on their toes.

But there is equally a lot that is simply wrong, from some weird soundtrack choices that sound like euro-porn to some dialogue that is just stupid – for example one of the teens asks ‘Is that you Kyle?’ when he is about a foot away from Stevie in a well-lit room, despite Kyle being a well-built, long-haired surfer dude.

I really do not want to go too heavy on Blood Cabin as it has more ideas in its 80 minutes than about ten slasher movies put together.

But in this instance I think it was simply a case of someone trying too hard.

AKA: Murder Loves Killers Too

Extras: Making Of, Four featurettes, Image Gallery and trailer

Released on April 4 2011

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.