If you guessed cabin in the woods, you win nothing. You just guessed right.
Sure, it’s another 5 films about friends heading to a cabin in the woods, but at least there’s some variety: aliens, crazed killers demons, possession, ghosts. Hell, one group decides to not even stay in the cabin. So lets get to it.
THE CORRUPTED (2010)
You’re going to score points with me immediately if your cabin in the woods movie eventually heads into Evil Dead territory.
It’s the eventually that will lose you some points, as in The Corrupted. I mean, yeah, it’s going for the classic slow burn vibe (like Evil Dead) as the kids hang out and one of them—the guy they came to visit—acts weird, giving us ominous hints that something bad is going to happen. But this goes on for about 45 minutes of the movie’s 75-minute length.
However, if you ask me, it’s totally worth sticking around for, because once people start puking slime and spitting slithery, spider-like things into each other’s mouths in the last 20 minutes, it was my kind of horror heaven!
Okay, so the makeup and special effects are pretty much cloaked to hide the fact that there aren’t many effects (at all), but you get the sensation. Okay, the horror content really could have been way better with some money for a special effects team.
Meanwhile, the most intriguing part of this film is the guy with the under nipple ring. Is that a thing?
FORTUNE COOKIE PROPHECIES (2011)
This cabin in the woods movie is a staggering hour and 52 minutes! That’s right, it’s such a staggeringly long length that I had to use the word staggering.
It’s also…a message movie about abortion! Ugh. A staggering hour and 52-minute cabin in the woods abortion message horror movie.
A guy, his wife, and his sister and her man go to a cabin in the woods. After dinner, they break open some fortune cookies with some ominous fortunes inside.
Before you know it—scratch that. Over the course of a staggering hour and 52 minutes, the mopey ghost of an Asian woman who drowned her baby in the lake starts terrorizing them (but not us).
They discover they are unable to leave the house and rehash every abortion argument that we’ve heard a million times from both sides as they try to piece together the mystery of why what their women do with their own bodies is any business of some damn mopey Asian ghost woman.
MIDWAY BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH (2013)
This Italian film is only 74 minutes long, and while there’s a slow burn before we get to the crazy shit, I actually wish…brace yourself for a shocker…that the film had been about 15 minutes longer, because the best, most suspenseful part of the film is too short! Okay, I’d also be happy if 15 minutes of the “slow” burned a whole lot faster and featured more of the good stuff…
I mean the horror, of course. There’s some character development—relationship issues, blah blah blah—as a group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods.
Magnifying tensions between them, once they get to the cabin, it is not what they expected, so they opt for sleeping in tents instead.
After talking about ghosts at the campfire, they decide to try to capture ghost sounds on a recorder. That night, one of the women is convinced she sees a woman in the woods. Some chaos ensues, people go missing, and the film moves into Evil Dead territory, but with only one…only one…of the friends getting demon eyes and hunting the others down.
The creepy thing here is that since they didn’t stay in their cabin, they spend a lot of time running through the woods and being chased through some old ruins of a resort in the area, which makes for the most suspenseful sequence in the film. The one thing that was super annoying about the scene is that everyone is trying to hide in dark, shadowy corners…while carrying LIT flashlights! Argh!
Also, there was something oddly “midnight movie” cheesy about the conclusion to what was otherwise an intense horror experience.
THE JOKESTERS (2015)
“The jokesters” in this film are known as the Prankmasters, a group of asshole dudes with a YouTube channel on which they pull shitty pranks on people.
We get to see plenty of their pranks in action before the marriage of one of the guys. His closest partner in Prankmaster crime never knows when to quit, and even pulls a stunt alluding to some gay stuff on the wedding day that really pisses off the groom’s father.
The Prankmaster guys still don’t know when to quit.
They follow the newlyweds to their honeymoon at a cabin in the woods to play a terrifying The Strangers prank on them.
At this point (pretty far into the film) things get somewhat intriguing. As people start dying and with each new twist, you start to wonder…is any of this real or are we being pranked?
Unfortunately, as it all unfolds and the body count rises, there’s absolutely no suspense! The killer just takes care of business with no fanfare. With all the buildup to get to what could have been the slasher part of the film, it’s all over disappointingly fast.
THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT (2017)
The director of The Gracefield Incident is also one of the stars. In the opening scene, he and his wife are driving in their car and filming themselves as they talk about their excitement over their pregnancy…so you can see the car accident coming from a mile away.
What makes the movie immediately annoying is that not even a year later, they’re pretty well adjusted to having lost an unborn child, ready to try again, once again driving will distracted, and obsessed with filming shit. REALLY?
They go to a house in the woods for fun with friends.
When something streaks through the sky, the guys go to check it out, and…again, in an annoying as hell moment, one of the guys reaches blindly into a hole in the ground of the fiery, smoldering crash site to pull out what looks like a big piece of smoking coal. REALLY?
Luckily for him, it’s actually cold. Unluckily for all of them, pretty soon a fricking alien is chasing them around their house and through the woods.
It’s CGI alien and every found footage cliché in the book, but at least it keeps moving and is pretty thrilling. Conveniently, there’s even a cornfield (in the middle of the woods?) to check off the crop circle box and add a few good corn maze chase sequences.
So if you’re a fan of found footage films and aliens, it’s worth a watch for the cheap scares, regardless of every predictable moment…and the oddly upbeat pop soundtrack.