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Film: Cabin By The Lake
Cabin by the Lake is a 2000 Made for TV horror movie.

Stanley is suffering from writer's block while writing the script for a by-the-numbers Slasher Movie. As his agents pesters him to get on with his work, he decides to put some of his favorite hobby into the story: serial murder. Stanley is actually an emotionless psychopath who kidnaps young women, keeps them captive inside his waterside cabin in the woods, then drowns them in the nearby lake. He keeps the corpses in an underwater cemetary he frequents.

His latest victim Mallory is miraculously saved by a local diving crew just after he dropped her off and left her for dead. The cops discover Stanley's crimes, but given the size of the lake and the number of boat owners can't narrow down the suspect. With this turn of events Stanley tries to write a different ending to his story...

This film provides examples of:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: In-story, Stanley's script initially ends with the killer murdering the final girl and getting away with it. When his own victim escapes the death he initially planned for her, he tries to invoke it himself.
    Stanley: Third act. This boy drowns girl... again. Can you say it hadn't?
  • Here We Go Again: The movie ends with the reveal that Stanley has survived. Disguised, he presents his idea for another script to a new agent about a killer who buries people alive.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Stanley murdered his victims by tying their feet to a concrete block and drowning them in a lake. As he tries to kill his two latest victims an underwater fight ensues with the police and they kill him in the same way. Subverted when they throw in a "the killer has survived" ending even though there's no way he could have survived.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: Mallory watches herself in the two-way mirror that Stanley installed to observe his victims. Then she punches and nearly breaks the mirror while Stanley looks a bit nonplussed.
  • Insult Backfire: Stanley seems to take being called an insane lunatic near the end with pride.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: The film centers around a scriptwriter's problems to write a satisfying conclusion to his story... and is also a serial killer.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: A perfect example of this trope. Stanley kidnaps teenage girls, puts them in a soundproof room, puts them in an elegant gown or dress, then duct tapes their feet to a concrete block. Afterwards he proceeds to take them out into the middle of the lake, and then drop them to the bottom to sink. He also likes to scuba dive out to his "garden" and clean away any detritus accumulating around them, and makes sure to straighten up their clothes. The conditions of the bodies range from skeletal, to decomposed, to recently dead.
  • Muse Abuse: Taken to extremes with Stanley. He kidnaps young women to keep them captive in a featureless room he built into his house, then drowns them in the nearby lake and props them up in an underground graveyard. All throughout he's asking them questions how they feel about their predicament to get more inspiration for the Slasher Movie he's writing.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Stanley plainly tells his agent over the phone that he's kidnapped a girl and is keeping her hostage to do some research for his script. She ignorantly tells him to drown the girl.
  • Slasher Movie: There's a small club of horror movie buffs at the lake that Stanley frequents who seem to be into this sort of film. Stanley himself is writing one.
  • Serial Killer: Stanley murders women by kidnapping and drowning them, then writes his activities into his work.
  • The Stoic: Stanley is disturbingly emotionless throughout the film even as he kills people.
  • Title Drop: The film's name is the same as the script Stanley is writing, but isn't name dropped until the end by a group of body cast models.
  • Villainous Crush: Stanley seems to develop some sort of odd fixation on his victim Mallory for standing up to him and escaping him once before. When he tries to drown her once again near the end he also starts to lean in for a kiss as she's terrified out of her mind.
  • Villain Protagonist: The movie centers around horror movie writer Stanley Cauldwell, who's knowingly and obviously evil as a depraved serial killer of women.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Parodied. Stanley joins the local cinema club's latest showing and knocks on the slasher movie they're watching and questions who the hell wrote it. As they quickly remind him, he did.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Stanley specifically picks Mallory as his supposedly last victim because of her fear of lakes.
  • Window Love: This creepily happens between Stanley and his victim Mallory with a two-way mirror. Anticipating this, she swiftly punches the mirror to let him know exactly what she thinks of him.
  • Writer's Block: Stanley can't finish his script... so he kills some people for 'research'.
  • Write What You Know: Stanley writes a horror movie script by covertly putting his own murderous depravities in the story. The murders he carries out are all 'research' for his story. Not a terribly smart move if he wanted to keep the fact that he's actually a serial killer a secret.
  • You're Insane!: When Stanley prepares to drown his two last victims, one of them calls him out as an insane maniac. He calmly responds that she's finally got it.

BruiserFilms of 2000 - 2004 Caca Milis
The BurrowersHorror FilmsCabin Fever

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