Does your favorite vacation oasis contain a deep, dark, disturbing secret? According to these ten titles, there's more to a cabin than calm and relaxation...
For our shattered couple, the loss of their little boy is a pain they cannot cope with. So off they go to an isolated cabin to work out their many psycho-sexual issues. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play our perplexed pair, each one trying to one up each other in the "let's go bug nuts insane" department. Eventually, we get foxes shrieking about "chaos," ball peen hammers to the testicles, and enough Lars Van Trier art to make even the most miserable macabre lovers sit up and take notice. This is indeed a genre delight, albeit in forged in style and sickness.
4. Friday the 13th
Let's face it. What would everyone's favorite(?) hockey mask wearing killer be without a sleepaway camp, a bunch of available counselors, and several dilapidated cabins to skulk around in. Jason Voorhees may have "died" because his otherwise 'occupied' overseers were too busy bumping uglies to watch him, but the adult version got more than his due paranormal payback over the course of nearly a dozen movies. Come on, you'll never send your kid off to summer camp again without thinking about the rotting corpse of a supposedly dead kid canvassing the area, looking for another viable victim.
3. Cabin Fever
Eli Roth may have rewritten the blood and gore rulebook with the undeniably disturbing Hostel franchise (heck, even the direct to DVD third installment wasn't half-bad), but it was this weird little attempt at meaningful meta macabre that got his name out of the frustrated fanboy primer. Painting the screen with as much red as possible while playing both inside and out of the standard scary movie tropes, he created a clever cult entry that still confuses as many admirers as it satisfies. Extra points for featuring Giuseppe Andrews as a crazed sheriff's deputy.
2 . The Cabin in the Woods
The ultimate movie nerd experience as wannabe drinking game. Mr. Avengers, Joss Whedon, and Sir Cloverfield, Drew Goddard, mining the entire history of horror for their weird warped take on monsters, myth, and the end of the world? The title entity, a seemingly normal place that's reminiscent of dozens of wooden relatives, actually houses a deep dark secret, one upon which the fate of the entire planet rests on. That Whedon and Goddard then manage to sneak in 100 years of horror homages into 90 breezy minutes speaks for their special relationship to the material, and their make-up as fright fanatics.
1. The Evil Dead
First, before you clamor about its absence, we consider Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn to be nothing more than a superior remake of this equally remarkable original, so assume we are incorporating it here by indirect reference. Beside, both offer up creepy cabins containing rotting cadavers, ancient horror how-to guides, and enough eerie ambience to make even the bravest vacationer void their bowels. Who can ever forget the image of a possessed partygoer cackling from beneath a chained cellar door. It's just one of the many indications that this particular piece of Tennessee real estate houses a doorway to Hell and no way back.