The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Director: Drew Goddard
Five young adults tap a cabin in the woods for the usual tomfoolery: beer, sex, weed and RnR. But low and behold, there's something odd going on at this freaking cabin and it's wayyyy more out there than what you think it is! Release the Kraken! Oh shit... wrong movie....well... it kind of works anyways...
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS went through its own horror story on its way to the big screen. It wrapped production in May of 2009 and was then put on hold when MGM (the company that owned it at the time) went bankrupt. After that they started toying with the idea of having it be Post Converted into money grubbing 3D but MGM's lack of coin resulted in that being stuffed back in the ground. Finally Lions Gate took over the picture and now we finally get to clock it after three years of waiting! Was it worth the wait? Did it live up to the hype that's tagged to its raggedy ass? Read on!
Drew Goddard's directorial debut THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (written by Joss Whedon and Goddard) was a ride! Simple as that! Where SCREAM acted as the deconstruction of the slasher genre in its self aware nature and mockery of the conventions; THE CABIN IN THE WOODS did a similar thing but in its own way for the token teens in a spooked cabin subgenre and beyond! It poked fun at it, homaged the shit out of it while at the same time managing to be an efficient horror beast of its own. A tall order, but more often than none, this sucka pulled off the juggling act which was quite a feat in itself! Props! The characters on hand were exactly who you would expect them to be: The (semi) virgin (Kristen Connolly), the jock (Chris Hemsworth), the happy-go-sucky slut (Anna Hutchison), the sensitive dude (Jesse Williams) and the paranoid stoner (Fran Kranz). Character development was on the low jive and that was the point! Our leads were horror movie stereotypes and the actors did a fine job at making me care about them none the less due to their chemistry together and individual charisma. All I got, all I needed! Special mention goes out to Anna Hutchison who made for a stand-out hussy! That one scene where she french kissed an inanimate object had me rise up and pay attention! Nice!
On top of that, the morbid yet tongue in cheek chain of events were engaging throughout, the pace was fairly furious, most of the sight gags (connected to what is “truly "going on) were priceless (the Japan haunting, all I will say) and we got lots of funny dialogue tossed our way (Fran Kranz often stole the show, he had the best lines). Then we had Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford in their side-splitting supporting turns. I couldn't get enough of these dudes! The further crotch candy courtesy of hottie Amy Acker was mucho appreciated by this horn dog too. What about the horror you may ask? It was in the house and in spades at that! I was treated to some fine looking ghouls courtesy of David LeRoy Anderson and his AFX Studios crew and every time I thought this madcap couldn't top itself in the monster mash department, it would go and do just that! Respect! Seasoned horror fans will DEFINITELY have a blast playing “spot the references from other horror movies” here. I know I did! Add to all that magic Goddard's relentless M.O. behind the camera (loved the areal shots), eerie cinematography by Peter Deming (who ironically enough was the DOP on The Evil Dead 2), twists that took me aback, an INSANE finale that threw everything at me but the actual kitchen, a genius celebrity cameo and final frames that carved a smile on my neck and you get a fun horrorcoaster ride that thankfully didn't know when to quit!
Qualms? Some. I figured out what was going off the bat via the hints over the opening credits. So being that I had a strong grasp on the WHY right away, that lessened the mystery this one could have had. The fear factor was weakened as well. I can't say that I felt much if any tension which was kind of a shame when taking into account all the horror madness that went down. It should have been scarier. Lastly, looking back, this mofo was filled with more holes than Paris Hilton's used up carcass. Am all for letting shit go in the name of having a good time, and I did, but this one ignored the HOW way too much for my liking. All in all though, this was a thrilling horror party movie! One that celebrated the genre, poked fun at it while at the same time being a well rounded contribution to it! I expect The Cabin in the Woods to have legs! This is a horror movie people will remember!
We get varied stabbings, blood sprays, nasty cuts, gored up chaos and more! Not as graphic as I hoped it would be (yes I'm gore greedy), but it still hit the spot.
T & A
We get Kristen Connolly in her bra and Anna Hutchison gave up the goods, giving us a sweet shot of her nectarines. The ladies and gay dudes get some fit hombres shirtless...
What Scream was to Halloween, The Cabin in the Woods was to The Evil Dead... and beyond! The film asked me to have fun as it toyed with its lead characters and horror conventions and I went along with it! Result? GOOD TIMES! Well paced and acted, aggressively shot, with genuine laughs and enough beasties to fill up 13 genre flicks, I got my fill here and then some! Bummer that it gave up most of its cards so early, hence lessening the mystery/suspense it could've had. And thumbs down on going light with the HOW. On the whole though I was mucho entertained by this one and that's all the truly matters! To be honest, the last act is the main reason for my high rating. An hour in this was a 3 on 4 for me. But that last half hour took it home with such gusto; that it EARNED a rating bump up. I can see Cabin in the Wood becoming a token horror pick to watch on Halloween with buddies and beers in tow. I mean it's a blast, you get to play “spot the nods to other horror movies” and the finale was a horror fans moist dream come true! On that; support ORIGINAL HORROR on the big screen gals and guys! Enter the motherf*cking Cabin this weekend!
Drew Goddard also worked with Joss Hweadon on TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He also wrote Cloverfield.
The project was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.