Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Cabin at Sorrow Creek (2013)

Movie Review: The Cabin at Sorrow Creek (2013)The Cabin at Sorrow Creek DVD was released in the UK in August 2013, but the movie is much older than that. It premiered at the Twin Cities Underground Film Festival in August 2007, under the original title of The Legend of Sorrow Creek.

In a nutshell, it’s the story of a couple of girls who have fond memories of their childhood summers, which they spent at their grandfather’s cabin in the woods. Now fully grown, and needing to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, they have decided to take some time out and recharge their batteries at grandpappy’s cabin. One of the girls has a boyfriend so she brings him along too. His best friend accompanies them to make the numbers up, but it isn’t the quality time they were expecting because nobody ever bothered to tell the girls that grandpappy’s cabin was built on cursed land. Needless to say, the gang soon find themselves battling supernatural forces. The basic plot sounds pretty reasonable, and the DVD cover does a good job of catching the eye and selling the product, but the minute you hit the play button it’s apparent this one is a bit of a stinker.

The movie is a certificate 15 in the UK, and it is unlikely that it will offend too many viewers because, as far as blood and gore go, The Cabin at Sorrow Creek is pretty tame. There are a few scenes of slashing and stabbing, but the camera concentrates on the swinging blade so, when a throat is about to be cut, the shot is cut as well, sparing the viewer any unnecessary nastiness. The Cabin at Sorrow Creek contains no sex scenes or nudity either. The only things likely to offend timid or ultra-straight-laced viewers are the abysmal acting and terrible script.

Fraya Ravensbergen and Christina Caron play sisters Kayla and Jesse. Matt Turner plays Kayla’s boyfriend, Dean, and Jon Deitcher is cast as Dean’s friend Tobe, who has to rely on medication to keep his heart under control because it beats a lot faster than it should.

One of the best parts of the movie is a touching scene between Kayla and Dean. They are sitting on some swings in the woods, watching the sunset through the trees and discussing their future. This is one of the few times the dialogue is believable and the two actors deliver it in such a convincing way it’s hard not to wonder why they could not keep it up for the rest of the movie. Later in the movie, when Dean is crying over the body of his dead friend instead of getting the car keys and trying to get his girlfriend to safety, the phrase that came to mind was, “grow a pair”. It came to mind again during the scene where he is fussing over his hurt leg. Would a man really behave like this? Would anyone?

One of the most annoying things about the movie is the unlikely behaviour of the characters. If dark forces are outside, would anyone really leave the door wide open? They do in The Cabin at Sorrow Creek. At one point, after a bout of terrible overacting, Kayla realises her mistake and goes to close the door. Then she notices her sister’s bag is outside, makes a dash for it and brings it back. And does she shut the door? Nope! She forgets all about it. The dark forces wandering around outside the cabin have already inflicted some nasty slashes to Jesse’s back and demolished Tobe’s car; so there can be little doubt about their evil intentions or how dangerous these woodland entities are, but the door remains wide open—some people are just born to be monster fodder.

Not long after she finds her sister’s bag, Kayla leaves Dean to fuss over his poorly leg, and heads out into the woods in search of help, flashing her nice bright torch before her, so every woodland entity for miles around can home in on her location.

The Cabin at Sorrow Creek has a runtime of about 1 ¼ hours, which is a little shorter than most movies. There are a few scenes that may make some viewers jump, and it is certainly better than watching paint dry. All in all, though, it’s a pretty disappointing effort, but it would make a great gift for someone you hate and is recommended viewing for anyone who has a severe case of self-loathing and is looking for a way to bring a little more misery into their life.

The Norwegian horror movie Dead Snow (2009) is also about a group of friends who decide to spend some time in a remote cabin and it’s a much better option than The Cabin at Sorrow Creek. However, Dead Snow contains a lot of scenes that boast plenty of blood and gore and will be unsuitable for people who are unusually squeamish and would rather remain ignorant about what the body looks like inside or how human flesh responds when it receives close personal contact with a chainsaw. If you want to find out more about this Norwegian offering you can do so by reading my Dead Snow movie review.