I do like Cabin by the Lake because the general storyline is actually pretty cool. Of course, it's a made-for-TV movie, so a lot of it truly isn't "that" plausible and some of the acting is a bit cheesy and over-dramatic. But I still like it (I think part of why I like it is because it takes me back to my senior year in high school!).
The "writer acts out his story" thing has been done before, but not in this unique "garden" way. That part makes the movie intriguing. Still, parts of the movie seem corny because characters try to make silly jokes or whatever - I would have much rather had it be more serious and delete the silly stuff.
What you really have to see is "Return to Cabin by the Lake" (the sequel). It's HILARIOUS because a fair amount of the movie must have been filmed with a basic video camera! Thus, part of the movie is high quality, part normal video camera. I can't take the second one seriously because of this, but it was still worth watching.
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