13th Aug2014

‘Raven’s Cabin’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Andrea Burdett, Luke Ledger, Pia Prendiville, Mauricio Merino Jr., John McPherson, Neal Huxley, Jag Pannu, David Ryan Kinsman, Elizabeth Frodsham, Scott O’Keeffe | Written by Katrina Rodriguez | Directed by Loren Johnson

ravens-cabin

What do we do with trouble teens? In movies we have seen a few answers, like Battle Royale where we stick them on an island and force them to kill each other.  Another way is looked at in Raven’s Cabin, an Australian film where bad behaviour gets a group of teens stuck in a camp to be taught how to behave, and of course there is a dark secret just waiting to be discovered.

Bound, gagged and blindfolded a group of teenagers and grabbed off the street and taken into the Australian bush (out in the woods) to a behaviour modification facility to teach them the error of their ways.  Isolated from the outside world they are terrorised by the camp guards until they learn how to behave and become an upstanding member of society.  With rumours of the murder of a murder taking place a few years ago questions are raised about if it’s a true story or just something to scare people.  Maybe a girl who can speak to the dead can finally provide the answers though that people are looking for.

Raven’s Cabin feels like a film with two stories that are trying to fit together, although they come close they don’t manage to make that perfect fit.  This causes issues with the story but if you can follow the two elements they still provide an interesting story.  We have the issue of the camp itself and the abusive guards who take discipline too far.  With an inspection taking place we see quite a confident side of the story looking at the issues of teen behaviour and just how far “behaviour modification” should go.  On the more supernatural side of the goings on of the camp we have the ghost herself and her continual attempts to communicate with the members of the camp.  The fact that she finally has somebody to communicate with means that the mystery will finally be revealed.

The connection between the two elements of the story should come with the teens of the camp, if anything there is an attempt at doing this but there is not enough time to actually fully push the stories together.  The haunting of the camp is well done and up to a point does have an impact on the story as a whole, but to keep the human side of the events in the camp as a focus the ghost many times has to be kept in the background.  If there was time to let the two tales breathe just a little more and maybe more focus on friendships within the camp maybe more of a connection would be created but for me it just misses the mark.

Even with the friction between the two story elements Raven’s Cabin is still an interesting story with acting that lives up to the requirements of both sides.  The mystery of the female ghost and the abusive nature of the camp are two stories that are interesting and don’t feel forced and while it is still a shame that they don’t fully fit fully together they both reach a satisfactory conclusion and at least don’t leave you feeling like you wasted your time watching the film.

*** 3/5

Raven’s Cabin is out on DVD now from Monster Pictures.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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