Hey, I’ve got an idea! It’s Spring Break so why don’t we spend it in a cabin in the middle of a snow storm!?
Oh, look — we’re at the cabin now and there’s some strange woman passed out front. What should we do!?
Hey, let’s bring her inside!
Uh-oh, the woman’s inside and she’s alive but she’s acting kind of weird!
Hey, let’s eat dinner!
Now, in all fairness to the characters in 2018’s Dead Night, things are a bit more complex than that. It’s not just that they decided to go up to a snowy cabin for Spring Break. The cabin is actually supposed to be a therapeutic location. James Pollack (AJ Bowen) is dying of cancer and it’s felt that the cabin will not only ease his pain but perhaps increase his life. If nothing else, the wilderness will bring some sort of inner peace. Accompanying James are his wife, Casey (Brea Grant) and their two teenage children, Jessica (Sophie Dalah) and Jason (Joshua Hoffman), and Jessica’s best friend, Becky (Elsie Luthman).
As for the mysterious woman who shows up out front of the cabin, they’re just trying to be nice when they invite Leslie Bison (Barbara Crampton) to stay in the cabin with them. Even though Leslie can’t tell them how she ended up at their cabin, the Pollacks are not the type to just allow someone to die in the snow. Really, we should all be more like the Pollacks, I guess.
Still, Leslie does turn out to be really obnoxious. She makes inappropriate jokes. She rudely asks which member of the family is dying. She blows kisses at Jason and smirks when Jessica announces that they can’t eat until they’ve said grace. In fact, the family is on the verge of kicking Leslie out when …. well, things happen.
What things? We get some hints from a terrifically over the top true crime show, segments of which appear throughout the movie. Hosted by Jack Sterling (Daniel Roebuck), the show deals with the question of how a perfect wife and mother like Casey Pollack could eventually go insane and chop up her family and friends with an ax. Sterling tells us that, even though Casey called several people and told them that she had found a strange woman outside the cabin, the police were convinced that this was all just a part of an elaborate lie.
Hmmm….so, I guess we know what’s going to happen, right?
Well, no, Not quite. It turns out that the true story is a little bit different from what we might have seen on television. For instance, Jack Steling’s show says nothing about the weird incident that happened in the early 60s, when a young woman got lost in the wood and was apparently impregnated with a piece of a tree….
If you go over to this movie’s imdb page, you’ll find a lot of angry reviews from people who felt that this movie didn’t have a real plot and that it was too gory but I don’t know. I kind of liked it. I mean, it’s a horror movie about people stuck in the middle of the woods. What exactly are you expecting to get other than some nonsensical ax murders? I mean, yes, the film doesn’t make complete sense but the cabin and the woods are both wonderfully creepy locations and the film also featured the great Barbara Crampton playing a …. well, I won’t spoil it. Plus, I watch a lot of true crime television and I can tell you that this film’s satire of the particular genre is spot-on!
So, what can I say? Suck it, imdb. I kinda liked Dead Night.