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The Cabining

USA 2013
produced by
Mike Kopera, Steve Kopera, Ian Michaels, Jeffery T. Schultz (associate), Blu de Golyer (consulting), Scott W. Mckinlay (consulting) for Lakeview Pictures, Chapter 3 Media, Knagen Films
directed by Steve Kopera
starring Mike Kopera, Bo Keister, Angela Relucio, Melissa Mars, Luce Rains, Richard Riehle, Mark Rademacher, Chuck Saale, Joseph Barone, Jackson Thompson, Alice Sherman, Peter M. Howard, Blake Silver, Robin Dionne, Ian Michaels, Rachel Chapman Kopera, Sarah Smick, Scott Connors, Danny Mooney, Elle Sunkara
written by Steve Kopera, music by Steve Sholtes, special effects by Troy Holbrook, cinematography by Jeffery T. Schultz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Todd (Mike Kopera) is a dedicated screenwriter who measures by the success by the number of pages he has written. His writing partner Bruce (Bo Keister) on the other hand is nothing but a slacker who has all sorts of stupid ideas to get both of them into trouble, but he is serious about having Todd's back (meaning among other things to provide him with inspiration). They have one thing in common though: They suck as writers, and even the slasher they have written is too formulaic for producers all over the country. Todd is devastated, but Bruce has an idea: To use their rent money (and thereby risk eviction) to spend a few days at a creative resort. Todd is dead-set against it, but Bruce can be very persuasive ... and hey, the rent money's spent anyhow, so there is not much more to lose anyways.

The resort is filled with all sorts of eccentrics and weirdos, yet Todd actually manages to hook up with Mindy (Angela Relucio), a serious writer of short stories and the only grounded person on site, who actually gives him plenty of pointers even if she regards slasher movies below her standards. Bruce on the other hand tries to get inside the panties of French dancer Celeste (Melissa Mars), which at least keeps him out of Todd's hair ... so yeah, even if everything was Bruce's silly idea, it seems to work out rather nicely. Until one of the employees of the resort (Alice Sherman) dies that is. Because of the gruesome state of her body, everybody suspects murder - but the police soon finds out she just slipped on a banana peel. Thing is, more deaths follow, and soon enough it becomes clear these are no longer accidents - but who's the killer?

Well, pretty much every clue points to super-eccentric artist Jasper (Luce Rains), who has riddled the surrounding woods with beartraps making it hard for anyone to leave the resort without getting trapped, who collects dead animals to feature them in his artworks, and who collects junk to recycle it artistically. So really, who else could it be? - Well, yeah, but isn't this pretty obvious a choice?

Todd hates himself for it, but his creativity soars during these violent days, and he has long abandoned his silly old slasher for a brandnew whodunnit based on current events ... but then truth catches up with him in a very unexpected and violent way - but what is truth even, and what's just messing with his mind?

 

The Cabining is a fun little film that lovingly plays with/spoofs genre conventions without breaking them or just getting moronic, that has got its fair share of suspense and shocks and even gore, but doesn't forget about its characters. Now add to that a very likeable cast, a subtle directorial effort that makes the most out of its limited locations, and a story that's well-structured under all its genre references, and you've got yourself a very enjoyable piece of genre cinema.

 

If this has at all whetted your appetite, you can find out more about The Cabining here: www.thecabining.com

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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On the same day
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directed by
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written by
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