Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Cabin 28 (2017)

"Based on the true life murders which inspired The Strangers" - that is the main blurb written on the front cover of the DVD of Cabin 28. So if you liked The Strangers then you should very well like this film. That's the implication. The reality is that The Strangers was a competent, at times chilling, horror film. This is not. But it has killers entering a house while wearing masks. That's where the points of similarity end.

To be fair, and to start off on a positive note, this film seems to stick to the main points of the unsolved case when it comes to the details that are known. Sue (Terri Dwyer) and members of her family were staying in the cabin when it was invaded by people who viciously murdered them. And that's the good stuff out of the way.

A quick run through the filmography of director Andrew Jones shows that he has a canny knack for helming films that end up trying to cash in on some recognisable horror genre names. He did The Amityville Asylum, he did Poltergeist Activity, and he has just completed his third movie about an evil doll named Robert. All of them either insinuate that they are connected to something they really aren't or state that they are based on a true story (always something that we horror fans take with a pinch of salt anyway).

He's working here from a script by John Klyza, and neither man seems to have a clue of how to build characters or tension. It's hard enough for the film to overcome the issue that it is full of Brits pretending they're all Americans (and if there are any actual Americans in the cast, well, they can't even manage to do their own accents properly), the fact that it fails in that regard while also lacking any competence in the writing, directing, and technical departments just makes the whole thing a real chore to get through.

I can't even feel angry enough to rant about the cast. They don't do a good job, but I suspect that's largely down to the awful script and a director who has assured them that all of their accents are fine and every scene has been nailed down just as he wants it (while he looks at how fare ahead of schedule and under budget they are). Dwyer is especially poor, although she's also given more screentime than some others, but Brendee Green, Derek Nelson, Lee Bane, Gareth Lawrence, Jason Homewood, and Ryan Michaels all give very weak performances.

You might spy this cover, see a low price, and think it can't be that bad. It can. You might think it's at least worth having on your shelf until an evening when you have nothing better available to watch. There's always something better available to watch. You may receive it as a gift from someone who knows you're a horror fan. Unfriend that person, move, and never let them discover your new address. Alternatively, regift it to someone you dislike. You get the picture.


The disc is available here.
Or, if in America, here.

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