Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Steve Kopera
Cast: Mike Kopera, Bo Keister, Angela Relucio
The Cabining was enjoyable upon a single viewing, and downright lovable after a second visit. For those who aren’t familiar with the flick, it’s a hybrid, fusing chills and laughter in equal measure. Wrapped in a slasher packaging, The Cabining is admittedly more buddy comedy than anything else, but the tone, and the aesthetics of the film sweep viewers away in time, depositing them right back in the 1980s, when slashers were still a lot of fun, and a good kill or character could steal the heart. Don’t look for a deeply unsettling experience here, rather, pop this one in the disc player knowing you’re going to get a light hearted adventure in the perfect setting with the perfect personalities.
The story focuses on Todd and Bruce, two friends struggling to see their dreams made reality by filming a quality horror film. But their having problems, namely a dearth of creativity. They’re putting together tired, cliche stories that frankly, no one wants to touch. The answer is obvious, they need some motivation. So why not head out for a weekend retreat designed to help the artistic get their juices flowing? Because that could lead to a bloody massacre, that’s why. This odd but wildly endearing duo are about to find themselves in a battle for their lives, but it may be just what they need to spark that inventiveness required to pen a truly magnetic story.
You know that sensation you got the first time you watched Evil Dead? Or the excitement that bubbled within during your inaugural examination of Friday the 13th? The Cabining has that effect going on. It’s a low budget piece that could have easily slipped through the cracks, or failed to wow, but it doesn’t. It absolutely stuns as a result of a genuine passion investment. Mike Kopera is present and prepared to dump every ounce of his talent into the film. Bo Keister is there to do everything in his power to outshine Mike. And Steve Kopera, who wrote and directed, is handy to show both of these guys that he’s the one with an undetectable ceiling. Between the three (believe me, there are a number of other awesome contributors), they light a fire that leads to explosive success.
My wife typically hates indie films shot on paper thin budgets. She just doesn’t have the patience to afford any production of this nature the benefit of the doubt. And after I told her The Cabining was basically a micro flick with very few recognizable players, she was ready to bail. 30 minutes later she’s cracking up, leaning over and whispering (as though we’re in the theater!) “This Bruce character is stupid funny!” And she’s right, Bo is a dude who is going to make waves in this business. He’s busy, he’s charismatic and he lights up the screen when he walks into frame. And Mike Kopera is no slouch himself. He’s got a more reserved nature about him, but he’s a fine thespian who I’ll certainly support in the future. Anyhow, the point is if my wife is entertained by your film, and you didn’t dump $5 million into it, you did something really, really right!
The Cabining is a perfect Saturday night movie. The balance between horror and comedy is great, the cast is great and the story keeps the viewer invested in the picture. You want to watch the movie, you just don’t want it to end. That may be the greatest compliment anyone can extend a motion picture. Watch The Cabining, it’s a thriller on all fronts!