Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

By Sati. Sunday, April 22, 2012 , , , , , , , ,
85/100 (95 min, 2012)
Plot: 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.
Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison

Run, fall, die

Welcome to the horror galore - "The Cabin in the Woods" is one of the most praised horror films of the past 20 years and rightfully so. Not only is it a skillful horror film, it's also a biting satire on the movie production, audiences, typical storytelling cliches and a parody and at the same time a homage to many classic horror movies. It's outrageous, funny, scary, gory and very satisfying.

From the creators of "Buffy", "Cloverfield" and "Frefly" comes a story that mixes all of those, despite the fact you wouldn't suspect it does - the film begins like an ordinary slasher flick - five young people, being quite stereotypical bunch from such a horror film, go on a trip to the remote cabin, to party, have sex and have fun. Of course there will be a bloodshed, as if always happens when you are a stereotypical horror movie character, but there is also a second plot of the movie, featuring enigmatic characters played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford that holds a key to this mystery.
To say anything more would be a true crime - "The Cabin in the Woods" perpetually balances on what is real and what is clearly a fantasy to the point that you don't know what to expect anymore - is it our world? Is it a different world? Is it our world with slight changes? The two settings of the story we see feel so surreal, you won't be able to answer those questions till the very end of the movie. That ending is clever and outrageous enough to make sense in movie's universe, though from what I observed it infuriated a lot of people.

The movie is filled with more humour than most of recent comedies - not just fantastic lines and humorous situations but also genuinely brilliant scenes and sequences that make open fun out of the genre, audience and the characters at the same time - as the hilarious scenes with Japanese girls or very pissed off unicorn. Yes, that's right. A Unicorn.
The cast features Thor himself - Chris Hemsworth - who manages to put a lot of charisma into his stereotypical role of the athlete in the group. The role of the virgin, who usually is in the final girl of the horror movie is played by unknown Kristen Connolly, who does pretty good, but not very memorable job. Fran Kranz who plays the role of Marty is a revelation - he plays a mellow stoner and he has the best lines and funniest scenes in the movie.

There is also a short appearance by someone who starred in one of the most horrifying horror films in the history. - I won't tell you who that person is, but I thought it was great homage to include that actor in the film. The nods and homages to classic and recent horror movies are present in such quantity here you really would not see this coming based on the beginning of the movie. Spotting them was really a lot of fun and I can't wait for the DVD to come out - freezing certain frames and looking at the details will be tons of fun.
David Julyan composed yet another of his atmospheric and dark scores for this one and it really adds to the tension of the film and certain scenes are filled with dread only because of the music and the clever editing - as with the scene where the five friends are playing with the objects they found in the basement. There are many creepy moments in the movie - including the head of the wolf, the two-way mirror (which is also a nice bit of foreshadowing), and a ballerina, you see turning in the dollhouse and then in a slightly different situation though infinitely more creepy.

Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard wrote the movie together in a long weekend. That script is the most remarkable thing about the movie and I don't know many horror films that I could say that about. The film is the biggest twist on horror genre since "Scream"- it does so without the shocking amounts of very popular nowadays crude humour and while it is making fun of the movies, its characters and the audience, it never does so in a openly mocking or disrespectful kind of way.
The explosion of gore that happens at one point of the movie is simultaneously scary and hilarious and the aftermath shots of it reminded me of "The Shining". There are moments when the film feels as surreal as "Cube" and when the mystery is resolved you find yourself dealing with the dilemma - the situation shown in the movie is horrifying but as a horror fan how cool would it be to participate in that in some way?

To say anything more about the plot would be too much - while the twists and turns of the story are never as shocking as "The Sixth Sense" or "The Fight Club" and a lot of it can be predicted, they still make for a fun movie however I doubt the film loses anything if you are watching it knowing everything about the plot - if you are an avid horror fan this one is definitely for you.

15 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed this so I'll definitely be watching it again in the future. You know the blogathon people are doing about their favourite movie year? 2012 might as well turn out to be mine.

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    1. Really? For me so far is the last year, but 2012...Maybe Prometheus along may do that :) There are some movies that I'm waiting for like Seven Psychopats and Django Unchained, but it will be hard to beat Shame and The Artist :)

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  2. Great review! Some great comparisons in there. I definitely see what you mean about Cube and The Shining. Loved that bloodbath finale. Personally I don't think it's quite in the same level as Scream but it's a hell of a lot of fun!

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    1. That bloodbath was amazing, gory and funny at the same time. It will be so much fun to watch it on DVD and track all of the creatures :)

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  3. Great review, Sati. I agree, it's an incredibly satisfying film. I never normally comment on the score of the movie but it is incredibly atmospheric. I loved it, really hope that Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon collaborate more in the future.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the score was really one of the pure horror elements here, it really set the tone for the scenes in the cabin. I heard they are not excluding possibilty for the sequel, though I don't know how would they do that :)

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  4. Sweet ass review Sati, This was mcuh better than I thought it was going to be, despite all the buzz I was hearing. Concur about wanting to check out the DVD and inevitible bonus features. Plan on rewatching this for sure. Have you seen Tucker and Dale VS Evil?

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    1. No, haven't seen this one, is it similiar?
      I was sceptical too, since the reviews were so amazing, but it turned out the hype was very well deserved.

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  5. I want to see this, but i don't see that happeneing anytime soon. And thanks for all the comments on my blog.I will be sure to add you to my blogroll and follow yours :)

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    1. You're welcome! I think the movie will be fun on DVD but the theatre's audiance reaction are pretty funny while seeing this one :)

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  6. Awesome review. So glad you liked it. I watched it for the second time recently and I enjoyed it even more :)

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    1. It's awesome isn't it? All of those hommages? Great script and idea.

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  7. Great review, I however absolutely LOVED Cabin and though it was one of the smartest and fun movies in a longggggg time and that final act had be excited like a teenage girl, it was that bonkers!

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