Written and Directed by Darren Lynch
Starring Darren Lynch, Jade Louise Pearson, Connor Lynch, Mark Hadi, Olivia Egbunike, Allie Garside, Lloyd James
Short film review by Hannah Sayer
It is a story that has been retold tirelessly in the horror genre: a group of six friends going to stay in a remote and isolated cabin for the weekend, which is owned by a creepy owner, as strange and disconcerting events begin to occur. However, Darren Lynch’s take on this conventional scary story is a well produced short film which succeeds in not taking itself too seriously. The Cabin opens with a car, with its inhabitants unknown, approaching the cabin. This long build up of anticipation of who will arrive and meet the woman who is already alone in the cabin sets up the story of suspense the viewer will witness unfold. From the outset, the score is important in creating a suspenseful atmosphere, as the haunting and chilling music evokes the quality of a conventional thriller.
Lynch’s introduction of the creepy owner of the cabin into the narrative is melodramatic and exaggerated. It is questionable whether this is an intentional device to parody the generic characteristics and appearance of the owner as creepy and frightening. When he jumps out at two of the guests, he has a scar on the side of his face, he is drinking alcohol and he is completely silent. His strange presence is described by all six of the guests as abnormal, yet they continue their stay until a game of truth or dare causes conflict within the group. When one of the women goes missing, it is clear that this will not just be a quiet weekend away.
By setting the majority of the film’s action during the night allows for the tale to take a more dramatically sinister turn and combine general elements of a horror. Repeated shots of the full moon, references to the supernatural presence of two deceased children who were found butchered in the cabin in the past and the undeniably creepy nature of the owner allows for the overall tone of the piece to be both irrefutably fitting to and parodying the genres of horror and thriller.
With a budget of only £200, Lynch has certainly done well in creating a conventional tale of suspense. The intense score and horror elements of the film allow for an intense and dark telling of a remote weekend away gone awry. However, the melodramatic acting and generic, overarching plot can often take away from any of the originality present.