Over-imaginative 12 year-old Sam heads off to the woods to summer scout camp with his pack convinced he will encounter a monster...and he does.Over-imaginative 12 year-old Sam heads off to the woods to summer scout camp with his pack convinced he will encounter a monster...and he does.Over-imaginative 12 year-old Sam heads off to the woods to summer scout camp with his pack convinced he will encounter a monster...and he does.
The story follows Sam, a very unfortunate boy who is on the receiving end of substandard treatment from his peers and supervisors. He and his scout unit go into a forest for camping, only to find that there are others await them. It's a very straightforward plot, and to its credit the film tries to include child negligence issue, but the approach is too heavy-handed to be effective.
Its worst barrier is the illogical thinking and action of the characters. These people, even the adults, don't seem to be functioning that well. Sam himself is a bit passive and finicky, the film wants the audience to sympathize with him, but it's hard to relate since most issues can be resolved with basic communication skill. I've seen horror movies with bland plot device of odd kid who cries wolf, Cub takes it even further till the point of exhaustion.
Pacing isn't that smooth either, almost two third of the movie is Sam getting yelled at and the rest of characters fumbling around. It does have some good scares or tense atmosphere at times, although these moments are few in between the banters and also unrealistic at best. The cinematography is decent, the film admittedly has several presentable shots, especially during the day with good lighting. However, the sequences in night time are sketchy, which is unfortunate since last act happens entirely in darkness.
There are gruesome events, these are mostly for shock value. If it tries to reach any fundamental message, Cub simply doesn't have the direction to convey it. The film doesn't even offer plausible motive, back story or explanation. Things just happen, and it wants you to be okay with that.
Truly, the real horror is how anyone would let their children roam the forest of haunted past guided by a couple of unqualified leaders. Keep your children save.
- Mar 21, 2015