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As we prepare to welcome Jason back from the dead this year, we celebrate our love of cabin horror with a week of watches in the woods.

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At AlethalWeaponArt, movies (particularly horror) are a huge part of our life — and our business — so we take time to celebrate the art of film every day. Follow along with us to see what we watched each week. We will tell you if it’s worth watching or if you should skip it altogether and why.

Editor’s Note:

The ultimate King of Camp Carnage, Friday the 13th, is one of the most beloved and influential franchises in all of horror. It’s also one of the most troubled. Since 2018, the series has been involved in a complicated and bloody battle for the rights to it and its characters. This means that, while virtually every other juggernaut franchise has returned to the big screen in recent years — including Halloween, Evil Dead, Saw, Scream, and (for better or worse), The Exorcist — devotees of Camp Blood have been left out in the cold. We haven’t seen that iconic hockey mask since the 2009 reboot.

However, with the ugly legal battle between director Sean S. Cunningham and writer Victor Miller finally out of the woods, it’s finally time for Jason Voorhees to return home. 2024 will mark the first time in 15 years that F13 fans have something to look forward to. The new Peacock prequel series Crystal Lake from (holy hell!) A24 and visionary creator Bryan Fuller (Hannibal). Original series writer Victor Miller is one of the executive producers.

We don’t know yet when the series will drop, but there’s a good chance it will be near Halloween or, even better, on the first of two Friday the 13ths in 2024 — September 13, 2024.

Want more great news? Cunningham is also rumored to be working on a reboot of the film!

Now that Jason is back in the mix after a far-too-long slumber, we’re inspired to return to the franchise this week while revisiting some camp/cabin in the wood classics along with a couple of first-time watches.

This horror movie-watching week was full of isolated cabins, hacking and slashing, and grisly getaways.

1. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)

This is our favorite Friday the 13th Movie! From the creepy woods vibes to the teen screams, we love it.

The presumed-dead Jason escapes the morgue and returns to Crystal Lake to continue his killing spree. The characters are actually all semi-relatable. We love the young Corey Feldman as a new character and fan-favorite Tommy Jarvis. The rest of the supporting cast all do a great job, too.

The kills throughout are entertaining and fun, everything you want in a camp slasher.

There isn’t really a dull moment, and you get to see Jason in his full getup with the hockey mask. The ending is also hilarious.

Much like Part III in the series, this film was supposed to be the franchise’s final installment. Thank goodness for us, that wasn’t the case. You can’t keep a good maniac down, and Jason always finds a way to slash his way back into our hearts.

Recommended; watch on Max or Paramount Plus, or rent on VOD.

2. CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011)

Cabin in the Woods is one of the best horror comedies out there. It’s so well-written, clever, and hilarious; it’s a MUST-see if you like cabin horror.

The film was written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut. Goddard had previously worked with Whedon as a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and he had made a name for himself in the industry as a screenwriter responsible for films like Cloverfield and World War Z, as well as his Academy Award-nominated work on The Martian.

Cabin in the Woods has everything you want: brutal killers slaughtering the group in different bloody ways, creepy woods vibes, and humor at every turn. We love all the characters in this. They are so well-acted, making this relatable and fun to watch.

Anna Hutchison and Chris Hemsworth play a believable college couple in this friend group taking a trip to his “cousin’s cabin.” Fran Kranz does a killer job playing the lovable stoner character; he is our favorite, but they all give great performances.

This one was made with horror fans in mind — all the tropes throughout add to the hilarity of the film and keep you laughing.

We absolutely love Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford’s dialogue together. Their characters were unique and made this movie special and funny on many levels.

Recommended; available to rent on most VOD platforms.

3. CABIN FEVER (2002)

Cabin Fever is another favorite cabin horror movie of ours. This Eli Roth horror-comedy classic follows a group of friends headed to a vacation cabin when something sinister unfolds. It feels like a very realistic friend group, and the characters are relatable.

This is the film that put writer-director Roth on the map, as it was his directorial debut. The inspiration for the film’s story famously came from a real-life experience during a trip to Iceland when Roth developed a skin infection.

Roth had a hard time selling his script because studios felt that horror was no longer profitable. It wasn’t until Scream came along in 1996 and reinvigorated the genre that studios were more receptive to horror titles. However, Roth still couldn’t sell his script, as everyone just wanted a movie that felt like Scream. Many also found the film’s content to be too unsettling, with its heavy focus on gore.

In addition to being inspired by a real-life nightmare, Roth took ample inspiration from some of his favorite horror films, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, and The Evil Dead.

In Cabin Fever, Rider Strong is our main character to follow, and he delivers a great performance. We love the score throughout and the general gritty teen scream cabin vibes.

One scene that scarred us both for life was when one of the characters was shaving her legs in the bath; let’s just say it still holds up!

There are a few other really gross scenes that are incredibly memorable, and the nasty special effects in this movie make it worth watching over and over.

Recommended; watch on Max or rent on VOD.

4. CABIN FEVER (2016)

While we love the original Cabin Fever, we were not fans of the 2016 remake. It is rumored to have used the exact same script as the 2002 film, but it isn’t half as good.

This remake, directed by Travis Zariwny (as Travis Z, Intruder), is actually the fourth installment in the franchise. It was universally panned by critics and widely hated by horror fans. It holds the rare distinction of being one of the few films in Rotten Tomatoes’ history to hold a 0% critical rating (only 43 films with more than 20 reviews have received this abysmal score).

The dialogue at times seems less than useless, worse than that the characters feel hollow, forced and are not well acted. You don’t feel like rooting for anyone; instead, we almost actively hated all the characters.

This movie is not worth watching; save your time and rewatch the original.

Not recommended; if you want to compare it to the original, you can watch it for free on Tubi.

5. CABIN GIRL (2023)

Cabin Girl takes you on many twists and turns. We picked this film because it fits nicely with this week’s movie theme, but we went in completely blind, as usual. All in all, it was a pretty fun ride.

Here’s the thing: This Tubi original isn’t really worth watching; it’s certainly not going to leave a lasting impression. With that said, it’s not a complete waste either. It’s shot well and entertaining enough to keep you interested and invested in what will happen next.

Cabin Girl follows blogger Ava, who is being stalked by a man who follows her to her new small-town home. It only gets weirder from there.

Rose Lane Sanfilippo does a great job portraying this annoying online personality who films most of her life and calls herself the titular Cabin Girl. The film itself gets a little wonky when Ava starts to lose her mind from the stress of her situation and begins to imagine the whole town is against her.

We felt ourselves laughing at the screen. It feels a little silly at times and leaves you wanting more.

If you’re just looking for a fun ride in a cabin setting, this one likely won’t leave you regretting the time spent watching.

It’s really not bad. But it’s also not good or memorable enough to be a slam dunk.

Not strongly recommended, but there are worse ways to spend your time; watch it on Tubi.

6. TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL (2010)

OUR FAVORITE OF THE WEEK!

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil got our vote for favorite of the week because it was our first time watching, and we could not get enough!

This one is more than just a little humorous, it is straight up hilarious. From the second it starts til it ends, this movie keeps giving and giving. We knew we’d love it going in, but boy, it did not disappoint.

Each death is so funny and unique; this movie is truly a phenomenal addition to the cabin horror genre. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk do an incredible job playing two loveable country folk who get caught up in some bloody business while on a trip to their vacation cabin. They run into a group of preppy young people who end up dying around them.

If you want something gory and full of laughs, this fantastically fun flick is the one for you! 

KILL OF THE WEEK: The wood chipper kill in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Recommended; watch on Prime, Tubi, Hulu, and numerous other free and subscription platforms..

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