Cabin 28 (2017) Review
Cabin 28 (2017) Review
Here’s the film’s official blurb…
Suspense and screams abound in this shocking true story based on the most infamous unsolved murder case in American history. On April 11th 1981, Sue Sharp and her family are enjoying their stay at Cabin 28 in the peaceful holiday resort of Keddie. But a day of fun at the remote getaway turns into a heart stopping nightmare as nightfall brings masked strangers to the Cabin. A brutal battle for survival leaves several members of the family dead and one missing. An extensive Police investigation follows but no one is convicted of the crime. Now, over thirty years later, Cabin 28 finally gives up its deadly secret. Written by North Bank Entertainment
And now here is my review…
Cabin 28 is a rather confused movie. It’s sold as being based on a true story, the same true story that inspired the insipid box-office hit The Strangers. Cabin 28 begins with a disclaimer advising that the names have been changed and that the story is only loosely based on the notorious unsolved murder. OK got it, that’s fair enough, so why confuse matters come the end credits by letting us know what happened to who and when. It feels contradictory and it left me scratching my head. Why have a prologue detailing what happened to fictional characters, it made no sense to me, or have the makers decided to give it a ‘real feel’ by adding this detail? This is the problem with Cabin 28 as a whole, it’s ill-thought out and lacking in real purpose.
Director Andrew Jones’ film is short, weighing in at just eighty minutes. Unbelievably ten minutes of the running time are eaten up by the film’s end credits. Ten minutes!!!! For something made on a massive scale and budget I think that yes ten minutes would be necessary but not for this. Other niggles! It felt like the movie’s casting was based more on folk’s ability to scream and be hysterical convincingly rather than give their lines a decent delivery. The acting range is variable and makes the film a bit of a chore to sit through.
The release cover art is persuasive but please do not be suckered in by it. It’s trading in on the success of a film that came out nearly a decade ago – The Strangers – but by having characters don novelty masks does not make a film scary, it makes it derivative and by-and-large John Klyza’s writing is just that – for example, young lady escapes her captors, manages to get a lift from a passing driver only to find out her ‘saviour’ is actually part of the gang and returns her right back where she started. Have I spoilt anything for you there as a potential viewer? No, I’ve done you a favour by pointing out another of its limitations.
Cabin 28 doesn’t entertain, it doesn’t thrill and it doesn’t really seems to have a point. Seeing people get smacked repeatedly on the head with a hammer is not pleasant, less so when the film-makers are basing this on something that actually happened. It feels exploitative and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. I am all for shocks in the name of entertainment but using the deaths of real people and turning it into a quick buck revolts me.