Time to head back to the self-referential killer cabins! I take a look at The Cabining and You Can’t Kill Stephen King.
THE CABINING (2014)
Little indie horror comedy The Cabining puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of its final, clever twist. Nothing else in this film is going to stand out in your mind after you’ve seen it. It’s like a “cute” buddy slasher comedy movie with no oomph in either the horror or humor departments.
These two dudes who want to make a horror movie have one chance to get it funded so they go to a retreat in the woods with a bunch of other artists. One of them is funny man Bo Keister of The Hillbilly Horror Show!
Soon, people are turning up dead. This real-life horror atmosphere inspires the main guy to start writing his script; he just has to stay alive long enough to complete it.
This is one of those movies that crawls towards being funny and entertaining but just never quite gets there. Even the charming cast doesn’t manage to elevate the material or add any needed excitement. Not much happens and what does happen feels like complete filler just to extend the running time so we can arrive at the last few fun minutes and the twist.
There’s not even much in the way of gore or nudity to satiate our simplest horror needs, nor is there a masked killer and backwoods freak to creep us out. I was hoping for a bit more from a movie spoofing the “cabin in the woods” subgenre.
YOU CAN’T KILL STEPHEN KING (2012)
Stephen King really never had anything to do with the slasher subgenre…until now. In You Can’t Kill Stephen King, five friends come to a cabin by the lake on which Stephen King lives in Maine in hopes of seeing him. We have the well-built main guy, his tough sister, his ex-girlfriend he wants to get back with, a big-boobed bimbo, a black dude who is pretty much the funniest and hottest part of the film (he does a sexy dance and we see his buns), and the Stephen King geek.
BABY GOT BACK!
The film pretty much accomplishes the slasher part and some of the humor is fun. Unfortunately, a lot of it is delivered by the geek after the murders start, which makes it all feel inappropriate even from a horror comedy perspective because he just comes off as a total insensitive asshole. The humor is forced into the situation rather than stemming unintentionally from it. But he really is pretty funny….
Other than the geek’s bad behavior, the film is pretty light and playful and filled with references to Stephen King stories. If you pay attention and you know your King, you’ll definitely see several visual references to his books and movies, but the ones folded into the plot have to be pointed out by the geek because they are specifically tied to a bunch of King’s lesser known short stories!
I think the obscurity of the references and the failure to really tie them together at the film’s conclusion are a big downfall because it’s not like you can play along with the mystery. It’s missing the King fan fun factor. Even the most familiar nods to his works are only injected into the movie through a dream sequence. So You Can’t Kill Stephen King isn’t as King clever as it could have been and therefore not the ultimate homage for fans. A bit of a missed opportunity for a slasher with such a great title.