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DVD Review

DVD cover

Cabin 28


Starring: Terri Dwyer, Gareth Lawrence and Linny Bushey
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 16 October 2017

Sue Sharp is staying at a cabin in the remote and peaceful region of Keddie when – over the period of one night – hell comes calling. She and her daughter are terrified by the appearance of an intruder in a skull mask. Initially, they fight him off but he is soon joined by another figure in a frightening clown mask and a third in a pale female ghost mask. Whilst trying to escape Sue hides her two very young sons and their slightly older friend under a bed. Her elder son has been out and returns with a friend, unaware of the situation. His friend is quickly dispatched, leaving the others to be mentally tortured and physically attacked by a hammer...

There has been a number of films said to be based on real life events; some true and filmed with dramatic licence and others apocryphal at least. For example, it is said that Friday the 13th was based on events which took place in Sweden. There is a metal music band called Children of Bodom. Bodom is where it happened and the children in question are the lakeside campers killed, apparently, by a figure from the wilderness.

In the case of Cabin 28 this is one of America’s most notorious unsolved crimes. The bodies of the mother and elder son are discovered, but the daughter is missing. By only showing two or three characters before the night of the attack the inference is that they are responsible. Certainly, they are the ones shown being interviewed by the deputy. An on-screen update at the end states these characters left the town and were never heard of again. In recent years it would seem new evidence has come to light in the form of the daughter’s skull being discovered. The investigation is on-going.

After seeing the cover picture I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking this to be an enjoyable fantasy violence slasher film – particularly in view of the very effective creepy clown mask. Instead, what I got was something closer to the style of The Last House on the Left, or more accurately Funny Games. This one is played completely straight, trying to re-enact much of what is only guesswork. Would it have been in bad taste to give this scenario more dramatic licence? Perhaps, but as a result of expanding the story at all we have been offered something which is somewhere in the middle: It doesn’t instruct and it doesn’t entertain.


Ty Power

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