Go ahead and assume that any review above a 3 out of 10 for this movie will either be from cast and crew or from those horror types who enjoy it when it's so bad it's funny. Why, you ask? Here's a direct quote from one of those reviewers: "It's Like Silence of The Lambs...but Even More Creepy" Yeah, that's what that reviewer wrote, and in all seriousness as far as I can tell, so you've been warned.
This movie is terrible. Not just your standard TV movie terrible, but full blown utter rubbish terrible. As I mentioned in the summary, the police force on display here would be lined up against a wall and shot for stupidity. I don't think I've ever seen as little effort put into catching a serial killer as appears in Cabin by the Lake. For instance, the police set up a perfectly viable sting operation to catch creepy guy Stanley at his "garden" and yet they wait for Stanley to realise he's in the middle of their trap before springing it. Stanley then proceeds to simply swim away whilst the police divers go to the location where he was, see he's gone, look at each other and shrug before surfacing and saying something like "Nope, I guess he's not there. Better luck next time." to which the sheriff instantly calls the entire operation off as Stanley ever-so-slowly makes the least ingenious escape in criminal history from the clutches of justice by basically swimming off to shore a few hundred feet away! SERIOUSLY??? Then of course, the one surviving victim/witness is pretty much treated like she saw a kid steal a t-shirt off a rack at Target rather than the only person who can identify by appearance and voice the guy that's kidnapped and murdered half-a-dozen teenage girls already. She's left entirely without protection or supervision at probably the only motel in town where, of course, creepy Stanley meanders on in and nabs her AGAIN! Michael Weatherly's "hero cop" character is just as useless as the others, as in the near final scene, he swims down to rescue two hapless, drowning females. He stops at the first one, with whom he shares his oxygen, but rather than send her on her way to the surface, he sits there with victim one, sharing oxygen with her, as they both casually watch Stanley slowly succumb to death and become a gnome in his own creepy, little garden. Justice is served, but wait, fearless hero, THERE'S STILL VICTIM TWO DROWNING AS WELL!!! MAYBE SHARE A LITTLE OXYGEN WITH HER, PERHAPS, BEFORE SHE DIES??? But no, of course he doesn't and she dies. Job well done there, Serpico.
I won't even go into the rest, but I warn you there's some hint of a Stockholm Syndrome romance effect in there, some blissfully simple horror buff types who can't seem to grasp the gravity of having come across the decomposing remains of teen aged girls and even some sort of Twilight Zone-ish paradox wherein Judd Nelson is apparently the sexiest man in California who turns the heads of sultry vixens with "do me" face and is flirted with by young bimbos as though he were Zac Efron in a Bugatti. Strange, indeed.
It's all quite terrible, and only now writing this, can I slightly chuckle under my breath because of the one final, stupid scene in which creepy Stanley is shown to have indeed SOMEHOW survived the vice-like grip and fox-like cunning of his implacable, dauntless police pursuers and now appears to be living it up as per usual in what appears to be the exact same city in which he did all of his hunting and kidnapping to begin with. A truly wily criminal, indeed! He turns directly to the camera, with his mustard-coloured suit, his awful wig and stupid, little soul patch and smirks as if to say just to me "I bet you can't wait to see the next one, can you?" And that, my friends, is the one and only reason this piece of crap movie is getting a 2 out of 10 on this rating.
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