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Review: The Cabin In The Woods
April 17, 2012
Whilst looking for films to watch this week, not many really caught my eye. ‘Titanic’ I’ve seen before (adding 3D doesn’t really impress me), and I’ve had bad experiences with games which have been turned into films (hence why I avoided ‘Battleship’). However, ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ captured my attention because, well, I didn’t really know what it was about. From the title, I guessed that it was just your typical horror movie; a bunch of teenagers go to a secluded location, get drunk, engage in some promiscuous behaviour, and then they all die in gruesome ways, often inflicted on them by some scary monsters, or some weird hillbillies hiding behind the trees. This was all I was expecting to find in this film, but that wasn’t the case. What I found was actually a genius satire of the horror genre itself, and I have to admit, it made me laugh.
Nobody in the film critic spectrum has really wanted to give away much about this film; and in many ways they are right to do so. For to go into this film knowing all of the plot twists and turns I think completely ruins it, and leaves the audience unable to fully appreciate what it is trying to do. So I shall only give you the details that I believe you should know before seeing this film, only so that the point of the film is not missed.
We begin our journey with your typical bunch of teenagers: Dana, the virgin (played by Kristen Connolly), Curt, the jock (played by a younger, but still amazing Chris Hemsworth), Jules, the sex crazed hussy (played by Anna Hutchinson), Marty, the fool (Fran Kranz) and Holden, the brainiac (played by ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams) going on a trip together to a cabin in the woods to enjoy a few days of drinking, getting high, and having sex. In a game of truth or dare, Dana is dared to go down into the creepy basement, where she finds a diary of a girl who used to live in the cabin. Little does she know, what she has just read aloud will bring about events that have been planned for the group all along. And, in typical horror fashion, there’s a lot of blood, screaming and scary creatures.
However, this is not the point of the film. The point is presented by the creators of the horror, and in this case, it is none other than the collaborating writers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Known for their success as both partners (‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, ‘Angel’) and as individuals (Goddard as a writer for ‘Lost’ and ‘Cloverfield’, Whedon as a director and writer of the highly anticipated ‘The Avengers’), these two men have come up with a way to both mock and pay homage to the horror genre. By adding elements of sci-fi into the mix, what they managed to achieve was a film that takes the essence of horror and displays it in a way that is both ridiculous and understandably brilliant all at the same time. Their experience with this genre has definitely given them an advantage in terms of their inspiration and technique, and I think that if anyone else had tried to do what they did, it wouldn’t have turned out the same way.
I am sorry that I’m not giving much away, but I don’t think I’d be doing this film justice if I did. It does have faults, mainly in terms of how ridiculous it is at times, but what I want you to do is not go to this film expecting to be scared (well you might be at some points) but to go expecting the unexpected. The parts of the plot that I given away are not what the film is all about, for that I have hidden from you, and with good reason. For what you are going to see is a genuinely clever film, whose secrets are better left untold until the screen lights up and all is revealed.