The Girl in Cabin 13: Should get a refund.
I'll be honest, I hate movies focused on social media influencers. Depending on the movie, they are worst part of the film. The vapid, phone obsessed individuals that often prove nearly unlikeable within a few minutes of their introduction. These characters can make the '20 minutes with assholes' trope feel even longer. While The Girl in Cabin 13 does not subject us to that kind of torture, it is still a film that is not fun to watch. Released in August 2021 and directed by Brendan Rudnicki, this horror movie (not related to the A.J Rivers book of the same name) follows unoriginal horror tropes that does little to convince the viewer to stay for the full length of the movie.
The story would start off with social media influencer Sunny (Chloë Marie Rhoades) and her boyfriend Brad (Stuart Maxheimer) being the victims of a near home invasion, and after a conversation with a police officer, go on a vacation to a cabin in the woods for tranquility. This tranquility is eventually broken by three masked men stalking the cabin who want Sunny for an unknown reason and the couple have to try to survive.
Now, I know what this sounds like, "This must be a cheap rip off of The Strangers". Well, yes and no. The story is just another variation of the 'People go to a cabin in the woods and must survive against some form of evil' trope that we have seen countless times in film and yes, the story is pretty predictable. It makes you question how this movie's writing is so lazy and predictable, especially considering the director is the President and CEO of DBS Publishing LLC which sells best selling horror, drama and thriller books. There is also a lack of pay off in the end of the movie. After an hour and twenty minutes, the movie just stops, leaving the audience saying "Wait, that's it?". Though, there is one point in the film where I do give some credit to the writing. Brad tries to convince the killers to go away, saying that even if they went to the police, they would not be able to ID them. One of the killers removes his mask, giving off a 'We do not give a single f**k' reaction which is admittingly a bit cool. But that one scene does not make up for the remainder of the movie.
This story also has a lot of questionable plot points that makes little to no sense. One example of this would be the police officer in the beginning telling the couple to go on a vacation immediately after their house was broken into. Yes, instead of making your house more secure or staying close by with friends, go into backwoods Florida. Another instance would be when Brad is first chased by one of the stalkers in the woods and he tells Sunny that it was 'an animal sound' instead of a guy in a mask chasing him down and then he keeps lying about it and saying "Don't worry about it". You just had someone break into your house, someone chases you in woods and your girlfriend shows you pictures with the guy in the background and you say 'it's fine'? I know in modern horror movies, the characters' IQ points drop by 30, but this is just ridiculous. We also learn nothing about the killers and why they want Sunny. It was set up that the cabins were built by a doomsday prepper, maybe they could have used that premise to say that the stalkers were a doomsday cult that saw Sunny as the perfect fit for repopulation. I mean, that is just off of the top of my head and it would have made more sense for the plot. But no, we don't get any kind of answer for this.
To give the film some credit, the social media influencer Sunny is not unbearable. She is not instantly loathsome as other movie characters with that profession. That being said, there are no characters in this movie that the audience would want to see survive. The characters have little to no personality, speaking in hushed tones and have little to no development. They also have little reaction to the horror that happens to them, treating them as more inconveniences than anything else. I don't want to give the actors crap, I mean, they are trying their best with what they are given, but none of them leave a lasting impression. It might also be partly due to the actor's inexperience; for Chloë Marie Rhoades, this is one of her only leading roles in her career so far. She might get better as time goes on, but for now, she needs to keep working at it.
The cinematography is not that great in this movie; shaky camera work in calm scenes, awkward close up shots on actors and uncreative transitions. The lighting in this film is also atrocious, making it difficult to see what is going on in the film during tense moments. I also had a small chuckle because of the poor lighting because with the shadow it made, it gave Sunny a mustache. There are also weird insert shots in the beginning and the end of the movie; the first being of a transcription of a police 911 report and the ending one being someone sending pictures of Sunny as she gets into her car. They make little sense, come right out of nowhere and don't add much to the overall movie.
The sound quality is also bad as actors in the same scene have different levels of audio. One example of this would be early in the film where the property manager Joe (Reggie Johnson) is introduced and his audio is lower than that of Sunny and Brad's. I had to turn up the volume just to hear what this one actor was saying.
The Girl in Cabin 13 is not a good movie. It is not even a 'so bad, it's good movie'. If this film was put onto DVD/Blu-Ray, it would be put into the discount bin. Lifeless, uninteresting characters, poor writing and subpar cinematography turn this movie into a slog to watch and sit through. It is sad to say that even the worst movies on the Sy-Fi channel are better than this movie.
If you feel compelled to watch this movie, it is available through Amazon Prime.