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Weird and twisty
The Cabin in the Woods (DVD)
Member Name: jipp05
The Cabin in the Woods (DVD)
Advantages: innovative, original, wierd, entertaining
Disadvantages: The same as the advantages really depending on your perspective
I love a good horror movie but they are so few and far between these days with most of them being either just plain bad or else a rip off of something else.
I was excited to see the cabin in the woods after seeing the trailer and reading that it was a new kind of horror movie that takes a conventional set up and turns it on its head. After seeing the film at the cinema I was in two minds whether it was genius or if it was just plain bad but the one thing it wasn't was boring and it has kept me thinking about it since I saw it.
It is difficult to talk about the plot too much with fear of giving anything away but I was disappointed that the big twist to the movie is literally revealed minutes after the opening credits. It is quite a clever and unusual plot but I really think it would have been much more impactful if it had been revealed half an hour into the movie during a pivotal scene. I had already guessed the twist thanks to the trailer but I looked forward to there being another big reveal later on in the movie as it was being marketed as this big twist movie that would reinvent the horror movie. Unfortunately I was left disappointed as there were no other big twists to come other than a couple of minor reveals which weren't all that impactful to the film.
The movie does do a good job of taking a clichéd horror movie premise of a group of good looking teenagers spending a weekend in a secluded cabin and subverting the storyline from what we all know and expect and there are some really interesting ideas in the movie but at times it seemed as though the filmmakers were throwing every idea in their heads at the film and seeing what would stick.
The move comes from the mind of Joss Whedon who is the man behind Buffy the vampire slayer and to be honest I could see the plot of this movie fitting in well with that show.
The script is clever and funny but it is rarely scary and even the jumpy moments were few and far between. It managed to hold my interest from start to finish and was quite frenetic in how it was directed. There are no dull moments in the film and it was all fast and furious throughout. The director is a guy called Drew Goddard and he does a good job of directing all the action on screen. Everything looks amazing from the beginning which is reminiscent of a 1980's slasher movie to the ending which is more like something from mission impossible.
Although there is little in the way of scares the film is very gory in parts with bucket loads of blood and gore but this is played more for laughs than scares.
The largely unknown cast all do a good job of portraying their respective generic horror movie characters (the nice guy jock, the blonde bimbo, the virgin, the nerd and the loveable stoner). The most well-known actor in the film is without a doubt the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth who since filming this went on to find fame as Thor in the Marvel comic book film revival and will be seen in a slew of summer blockbusters this year. He does an excellent job and really has star quality when on screen so I'm not surprised he has managed to break out and become a star. However the film is stolen by Fran Kratz who plays stoner Marty the stoner with such gusto that you can't help rooting for him to save the day.
The cabin in the woods was made over 3 years ago and sat on a shelf waiting a release. This usually indicates that a movie is so bad that the studio has absolutely no faith in it. This isn't the case here and the cabin in the woods is an interesting if flawed film but it packs in more into 20 minutes of screen time than most films manage in 2 hours. I think my biggest problem with the film is that I had such high expectations that the film couldn't live up to them. It was still an enjoyable film but it had the potential to be a great horror movie that people would talk about for years to come. As it is I really don't think the film will be remembered as being a particularly high point in the genre which is a shame as with a bit of trimming and editing I really think it could have been a future classic.
For me personally I think that the film was fun and interesting and there were some great ideas up on the screen but it just fell a bit below my expectations. The other people in the cinema with me seemed to enjoy it and there were plenty of laughs and even a few screams. Aficionados of the genre will appreciate all the knowing winks to previous films and the clever script will have you seeing how many of the well-known horror clichés you can spot in the film. The ending is also a bit of a departure from traditional Hollywood movies and without spoiling the plot it doesn't really end well for everyone involved which honestly did make a nice change from the usual heroine/hero saving the day.
Even though I have been a bit scathing in parts of my review I would still recommend that you go and see the film especially if you are a fan of horror movies. Some people may not enjoy the fact that it is such a complete departure from what you might expect going in to the film but other people will absolutely love it. Either way the film will keep you entertained and it is good to support movies with genuine innovative and original ideas instead of the generic rubbish that keeps getting churned out. I personally plan on seeing the film again when it comes out on DVD as I am curious to hear the commentary that I hope will accompany it and hear more about all the ideas the film makers had. I also think that I will probably enjoy it more on a second viewing at home now that I know what to expect.
Runtime: 95 mins
Director: Drew Goddard
Writer: Drew Goddard and Jos Wheadon
Cast: Chris Hemsworth
UK rating: 15
Summary: A weird but original horror movie