I was recently given the great pleasure of seeing a movie I have been anticipating since it was announced, and filmed, back in 2009. “The Cabin in the Woods,” written and directed by Drew Goddard (writer on “Lost”) and co-written by Joss Whedon (TV’s “Firefly”), has officially joined my list of favorite films for the year.
The official synopsis states: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. Anyone who has seen it can attest that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The story starts by introducing us to two veteran actors who are at work, Richard Jenkins (“Let Me In”) and Bradley Whitford (TV’s “The West Wing”). What they are doing is something I can’t talk about or else it will ruin the fun, but I can say that both of these actors hit the ball way out of the park. I have never had so much fun watching two people working before, and they were surprising but perfect casting for their roles.
We are then introduced to our five friends that will entertain us for the next hour and a half: Kristen Connolly (“The Happening”), Chris Hemsworth (“The Perfect Getaway”), Jessie Williams (“Brooklyn’s Finest”), Anna Hutchison (TV’s “Power Rangers Jungle Fury”), and Fran Kranz (“Donnie Darko”). Surprisingly, and unlike typical horror fare, everyone played their roles extremely well, and that really catches you off guard. They each play their forced stereotype (you’ll understand why it’s forced when you see it), like Hemsworth as the jock and Connolly as the sweet girl, without missing a beat, and it is because of that the writers kept the horror element intact.
After seeing “The Cabin in the Woods” it was hard to determine what genre it fell into: action, comedy, or horror. After thinking about it for several days now I am willing to say it is a pleasant mix of all three. The picture starts as a pretty hilarious comedy, and keeps the laughs going throughout the flick. It then starts introducing horror elements, and a lot of blood, once the kids make it to the titular cabin.
It takes what made “Scream” great by having Fran play the Randy character in our cast. He is a burnt out stoner that knows something is up from the get-go, and seems to know what it takes to stay alive. He has some hilarious scenes with his homemade coffee mug bong that had the audience in stitches. Then towards the end of this epic the action gets amped up to a ten, and people just start dropping left and right with arterial spray everywhere.
“The Cabin in the Woods” from start to finish is a huge breath of fresh air, and is exactly what the horror genre needs to get back on its feet after a few years of found-footage B.S. and horrible scripts (*cough* “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”). While it borrows themes from other classics in the genre it does a damn fine job of owning it, and making it unique. I wish I wish I could explain everything this cinematic experience so epic, but doing so would ruin how amazing the first time watching it is.
If you like comedy and action, can stand a lot of blood and some good scares, then this is right up your alley. The best way to explain it is as a mix of Eli Roth (“Hostel”) with Quentin Tarantino (“Kill Bill”) and Christopher Nolan (“Inception”). It messes with your mind, confuses you, makes you think one thing but question another, has a lot of blood and some damn fine CGI, amazing writing and characters, and it surprises you with a great twist towards the end, and an amazing celebrity cameo.
I have to rate this film a solid 4.5/5. It gets a 4.5 instead of a 5 because it didn’t have quite enough horror in it for my taste. I really wish it had a few more suspenseful/scary moments.
Want to stay updated on film news and reviews? Like me on Facebook for FREE contests and more: www.Facebook.com/MuviGuru