Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Cabin in the Woods (2012)

“He's got a husband bulge.”

Director: Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison
Writers: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

As the prophecy foretold, I’ve finally been able to catch this movie. Since seeing the trailer I was really excited by this horror movie written by nerd god Joss Whedon. However tragedy occurred when it was announced that Australia was not to get any release what so ever. Thankfully the community cried out and we finally got a very limited release. So how does this movie all work out in the end?

Well absolutely fantastically. This movie successfully deconstructs the horror genre while still being a horror movie. Not since Scream have I seen such an endeavour done so competently, and it was a joy to watch and I’m sure I’ll be mentioning this movie again come end of the year and the inevitable top ten list.

Now while I would love to get into the plot, doing so is probably doing a disservice. At the time when it looked like Australia wouldn’t get a release, I did go ahead and read about story. While this didn’t ruin the movie at all, there would be a certain joy of discovery to be had for those very unfamiliar with this movie. But to sum things up very basically and spoiler free, five teenagers go to a cabin in the woods and very bad things happen.

All the actors in this movie are pretty strong, with highlights for me coming from Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz. To get into the exact details of the characters is yet again fraught with spoiling some of the surprises. Most characters aren’t filled with depth, but that isn’t really necessary for a film like this. Drew and Joss’s writing really comes to the fore thankfully in establishing the characters quickly, and getting into the meat of the story. If you are a fan of Whedon’s characters in his previous work you should dig the hell out of what we’ve got here.

Drew Goddard brings a very fun style to this movie, it’s both reverent of past horror movies while being a brilliant modernisation of a tale we’ve seen plenty of times. Also while the story might seem basic, Goddard has layered in a lot of detail in the background to enrich the story. Along with a great handle on the creepiness that can be derived from horror in general, there is a great visual design to some of the horror’s that are unleashed on the screen.

If there is one thing that I didn’t like, it was the ending. Of course I can’t get into it, and this is more of a nitpick, but I just don’t think it was as satisfying as it could be considering the ride. Now I have no problem the general direction or tone, but there was just something that kind of made me go, “oh is that it.” I just also stress this is in reference to the final minute, so it is the smallest of problems a person can have.

For both horror and Whedon fan’s this movie is a must. There is a smart movie at the core and a wonderful horror movie on the surface. It’s one of those movies that I really had a great time watching, and now I can’t wait till it comes out on Blu Ray.

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