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“Cabin Monkey 2: The Reckoning” is a Triumph in Cinema

Viewers left gobsmacked by the original, Cabin Monkey 1: The Beginning are in for a treat with this second installment.

Without giving too much away, suffice to say that stars Nora June Ridgewood and Horst Umlaut return in very much the same roles and the same situation. As long as you set aside some of the events at the end of Cabin Monkey 1, it makes perfect sense that their characters would return to the titular cabin.

Again, no spoilers, once the couple had overcome the simian threat endemic to the entire cursed property, it’s logical to assume there would not be any further threat from a serial killer monkey or its equally homicidal siblings who lived nearby. In fact, there’s little evidence on screen that the siblings would have been aware of the protagonists’ role in dispatching the primary antagonist. Their presence at the climax of the film was cleverly explained away as a dying fever dream by the first cabin monkey.

I don’t want to overstep the bounds of surprise for any potential moviegoers, so I’ll leave out details of the killing off of numerous side characters and the shocking dispatch of the remaining (as far as we know) cabin monkey relatives. You’ll have to wait for the last ten minutes of the film and a couple of jump scares involving the basement to find out.

Rest assured, Ridgewood and Umlaut are signed up for the as-yet unnamed sequel, although a production assistant told me the working title is Cabin Monkey 3: The Resurrection. It’s hard to tell if the name refers to bringing back the original cabin monkey or Umlaut, whose fate in this episode I won’t get into here. Maybe he’s in flashbacks or something. Not telling!

Cabin Monkey 2 takes us through all the familiar and satisfying story beats: The perfectly normal opening, the ominous warning from the local weirdo, the settling in to the peaceful cabin, the initial signs that something is wrong and refusal to take heed, the unrelenting slaughter of every minor character, the face-off with one or more cabin monkeys (can’t spill it), the not knowing if one of the protagonists was killed, the finding of them in the cellar, the tearful reunion, and the foreboding setup of events to come.

Every shot is neatly framed, the color correction is spot-on, the sound design flawless, the soundtrack perfectly synced with the impending shock moments, even the makeup and wardrobe are on point. All elements of the film combine to convey the story in a way that your emotions are properly manipulated to fit the needs of the segment. Right before one of the main character (possibly) gets killed, the lighting, music, acting, and editing have us primed to anticipate it. I’m sure that at about the 92 minute mark (before going in the pantry), you’ll be feeling the same way.

Just go into it expecting to be entertained and surprised. And don’t watch any “Horst dies” reaction videos if you don’t want to be let down.