Think twice before visiting a woman at a cabin in the woods

Ghosts, demons, crazed killers…there’s no telling what you’re being lured toward when you go to visit a woman at a remote location in the woods, as demonstrated in The Sacred, Visible Scars, and Blood Lust.


sacred cover

Director Brett Donowho, who also brought us the film No Tell Motel, offers up a “cabin in the woods” movie that’s part supernatural, part demonic possession. While The Sacred may seem riddled with clichés and cheap scares, the familiar territory does deliver good old fashion scary movie fun. It’s never boring, and the ending throws in a monkey wrench that is just confusing enough to make the film anything but predictable.

In hopes of finishing a horror novel, a writer takes a solo trip to her aunt’s cabin. She begins to see shit out of the corner of her eye before she even reaches the cabin, and there are creaking and banging noises as soon as she gets there – clear signs she’d be better off writing her horror novel at home (as is the creepy doll she finds in a closet).

sacred doll

But, she stays. Interacting with locals, including a little girl, the caretaker (Jeff Fahey), a nurse, and a storeowner (always awesome Jenny O’Hara of Devil), she soon gets the sense there’s an ominous secret involving her aunt’s death. Just when it feels like the story is wearing thin and the slow burn is about to extinguish, there’s lesbian sex! WTF? And it becomes a threesome…with demons! WTFF (What the fucking fuck)?

sacred possessed

Her boyfriend arrives with some of their friends, there’s more sex, and the horror suddenly takes off, with no real concern for logic. All the plot points don’t exactly come together (no idea what was going on), but it is an entertaining flick. There’s even a totally unnecessary, 2-second cameo from Sid Haig at the end.


visible scars cover

If this 100-minute film had been shortened by about 20 minutes, and the script streamlined and tightened up, it could have been a bad ass slasher. As is, it’s sort of a mish-mosh of confusion.

The “backstory” of this “slasher” is longer than it needs to be, I guess to give more airtime to Tom Sizemore. He plays a man that kills someone, kidnaps twin babies, and then raises them with his wife, keeping them in a basement under his trailer home. It’s implied that he kills a bunch of people to keep their existence a secret before the entire trailer goes up in (bad CGI) flames.

visible scars little girl

On an entirely unrelated note, years later, a young woman heads to her uncle’s cabin to hide from her abusive boyfriend. The cabin is near the burned down trailer home, and conveniently, the police have reopened the case of the fire, so there are detectives poking around. After becoming convinced there are ghost children calling out to her in the cabin, the main girl befriends a random couple camping in the woods.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend shows up at her place and her friends – who are house and dog sitting – admit to where she is within a matter of minutes. It seems she didn’t tell them he’s an abuser, or anything else about her life, for that matter. These good friends don’t even know how long she’s been seeing this guy – even though they clearly know him. And apparently, he’s really good at acting like a nice guy and hiding his dark side, because he seems like a pretty nice guy. So they all head to the cabin together.

visible scars neck

Finally, the film becomes a slasher, and as more random people are hacked up, the kills become increasingly gory.

visible scares more gore

There’s a logical, classic slasher explanation for who is doing the killing, but there’s so much other unnecessary crap on top of it – the sister of the wife of Sizemore’s character is suddenly on the scene, police are everywhere, there seem to be unexplained ghost sightings, mommy envy is tossed into the mix, and there’s even last minute cannibalism.

BLOOD LUST (aka: Siren Song) (2016)

blood lust siren song

With C. Thomas Howell’s star power, I was expecting something of SyFy Network quality. Instead, Blood Lust is a low budget indie that goes virtually nowhere in its 70-minute run time.

As soon as the film opened with a narrator talking about mythological gods, I knew it was all over for me. But then a couple in a restaurant got attacked by someone with a wrench in the opening scene, so I held out hope….

blood lust wrench to head

The guy survives the attack, and in the blink of an eye makes an online connection with someone new, hears screaming when he’s video phoning the chick, and then hurries to the isolated island on which she lives to make sure she’s okay. Not a cabin this time, but close enough. It’s her guesthouse in the middle of nowhere.

The film is just bizarre. The chick is one of three siren sisters, so while the other two are out in the woods at night killing men, she’s romancing her new man. Then his buddy C. Thomas Howell shows up and the plot continues to drag on until the twist.

blood lust lead

I did like one part of Blood Lust—one of the sisters is attacked by some bear dude (there are just random men throughout the movie) but gets the upper hand and makes him eat his own flesh. The movie would need more murder and less mythology to keep my interest.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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