Review by Disgruntled Monkey
Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy,
Shiloh Fernandez and Lou Taylor Pucci
Writers: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues
A group of people go to a cabin in the woods; sometimes they are young adults, other times they are teenagers, but they are there to get away from their day to day lives. No matter which group they are though, the same thing always seems to happen. They find an item which awakens something evil, something that plays upon their fears. No matter what it is, most will die and the survivors will go through hell to see the dawn.
It’s a horror trope so familiar that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard gave us a movie that lovingly looked into the scenario and tried to expand it into a different place. In the light of that film, releasing this movie was a risky venture. Thankfully, the remake (sort of) shows why this particular horror scenario is so effective. It knocks the film out of the god damned park.
Visually the movie is astounding in how it revels in its brutality. When things start to get sliced I winced and wasn’t the only one in the audience shifting in their seats. Atmosphere is at the fore in this movie and has an exceptionally gritty feel throughout. You can feel the oppression of the dark forces in every part of the forest and the cabin. Fede Alvarez really has a great eye and I can’t wait to watch more of his work.
All five main characters are perfect and while the pace of the movie doesn’t give us much time to get to know the characters it gives us enough to know motivations and get behind them. In the final third I was cheering and crossing my fingers for my favourite characters, a rarity in this genre. The gem of the movie has to be Jane Levy who had to juggle a number of different personalities. From junkie trying to kick the habit, to demon possessed nightmare, she has a lot of fun while showing off some great acting chops.
|Such a pretty smile.|
Those who might have been worried about a ‘toning down’ on the bloodletting scale in this modern day movie have no need to worry. Buckets and buckets of gore is on hand, most seems practical and it’s all disturbing as hell. Who ever was the head of effects has a sick mind but I’m thankful for it as I was always happy with what I was shown. Hearing the audience react to the movie was great, the more they wriggled the more I smiled.
If you love your horror you really need to see this movie. It’s the type of horror movie that while it revels in the shameless gore factor of its genre; it also shows how effective and noteworthy horror movies can be. I can easily see this movie in my top ten at the end of the year; it was that great of a ride. I think I need to go and see it again.