Cabin 28 is the shocking horror based on the true story of the Keddie Murders. This unsolved case dates back to April 11th 1981 where a teenage girl returned home to find her family, and a teenage friend, brutally massacred in their resort cabin in a small Sierra Nevada Mountain community of Keddie in northern California. Over three decades later, and the primary suspects dead, the mystery goes unsolved and the film Cabin 28 gives a 100% fictitious look at how that horrific night may have panned out.
The film Cabin 28 does stick to some of the facts to the case – and makes it look a bit like a news reporting to perhaps jog any memories of what people saw or heard that night, whilst heavily pointing their finger of suspicion at certain individuals. However, the acting on the children in the case seem to be played by much older characters – possibly to allow showing just how gruesome these murders really were. For example the sister who found the bodies, Sheila Sharp, was in reality only 14 years old and was at a sleepover next door; whereas in the film she took the car to sleep elsewhere (suggesting that she is old enough to drive and further away).
The film Cabin 28 introduces us to what happened before the night of the murders, allowing us to make our own minds about the reasons it could have happened: Such as with neighbour, and prime suspect, Marty Smartt appearing to have been interfering with 12-year-old Tina Sharp – who announces that she is pregnant just before her murder. This could account for why her body was taken as it was 3 years later that her skull was found 50 miles away in the woods of another county via an anonymous phone tip-off. It also shows how Marty is angry with murdered 36-year-old single mother, Sue before her death for interfering in his troubled marriage. It also introduces Marty’s friend and lodger Bo Boubede, who is also thought to have been involved (plus the fact that the evidence suggests that there was more than one murderer). The build-up of the night also shows how teenage family friend 17-year-old Dana Wingate and Marty’s wife Marilyn’s son Justin happened to be at Cabin 28 that evening. The murderers of Cabin 28 are not revealed in the film, and to add to the horror they are dressed as clowns. With shocking scenes where the victims are killed over a period of time using knives and a hammer – whilst the others watched on and screamed. But yet no-body heard, or helped as Sue, Tina, Johnny and Dana were killed. It also shows how the younger brothers Greg and Rick (ages 5 and 10) and Justin Smartt remained unharmed in an adjacent bedroom of the cabin – suggesting that this could be that the murderer was indeed Justin’s stepfather and that he beckoned him to go back to bed. The film Cabin 28 ends with some police interviewing and written up facts. I think that it is fair to its criticisers that this film received such bad reviews as there really was no emotional attachment to the characters, it felt over with quickly and had a bad budget movie feel to it. On the other hand, I think that it portrayed the real-life murders well, had a very adult and scary feel to it and certainly did the job of us wanting to know more about the Keddie Murders.
Cabin 28 is released on October 16th 2017.
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What do you think happened on the night of April 11th 1981?
ENDS: 0:00 AM Friday 20th October 2017
Directed by Andrew Jones
Running Time 90 minutes
I was sent a free copy of Cabin 28 for purposes of review. All opinions are honest and my own.