Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cabin in the Woods Movie Review 258

The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 horror/sci-fi movie directed by Drew Goddard who wrote episodes of Buffy and Lost and the movie Cloverfield. He wrote this along with Joss Whedon who also produced it.

The movie begins with a group of college students who are going to a cabin in the woods for a holiday. They are Dana(Kristen Connolly), Jules(Anna Hutchison), Curt(Chris Hemsworth), Holden(Jesse Williams) and dope fiend Marty(Fran Kranz). They set off in the usual way and they stop at a run down old gas station and meet a local yokel called Mordecai(Tim De Zarn) who warns them against going any further. They think that he is nuts and continue on their way. We discover that there are people watching the group at a huge facility and two of them in particular are monitoring what goes on. Richard(Richard Jenkins) and Steve(Bradley Whitford) are in control of this operation and it becomes clear that they control everything around the group. They can use drugs and special effects to influence events. They even place bets to see what happens next.

The usual horror movie scenarios occur with people getting killed etc by some undead creature who manages to kill them all except for Dana, the virginal one and Marty, the pot head. Marty finds an elevator which goes down. They have no choice but to take it. They discover that the elevator goes down to a monster prison with every nightmarish creature you can imagine.  Dana and Marty are being chased by armed guards and they have to do something so they release all of the creatures and there is a bloodbath. Richard and Steve die and so do all of the others in the facility.They manage to escape down to a room where they meet the Director(Sigourney Weaver). She explains to them that these operations are necessary to placate the gods who live underneath the facility and demand blood or they will rise and end the world as we know it. Marty has to die or the world will end. He is the last of the group who needs to perish for the operation to be successful. Dana refuses to kill him and the Director is killed by a ghostly girl who was released. Dana and Marty wait for the end of the world as the gods begin to rise...

Just let me get this out there before I start- this movie was just OK. It wasn't great and it wasn't crap. It was in the middle somewhere. There are those who think that the tongue in cheek thing is great and ha ha aren't we so clever laughing at horror movies etc. I'm not one of them. I like my horror to be just that- horror. I understand the plot- I just didn't like it much. I did like the first half of the movie, but it took a nosedive in the second. The ending was bad and I just didn't enjoy it. There were so many nods to classic horror films such as Evil Dead, Hellraiser, The Shining, The Ring, but this film couldn't stand up with them, I'm afraid.It was always going to divide horror fans and those who liked Buffy etc might enjoy this kind of horror film, but for me, I just didn't like the mixing of genres. I am always going to love horror movies ,whether they are based on guy with a knife or monster chasing teens, I still think that horror is the best genre there is. This movie was supposed to comment on how formulaic horror movies are but it was a little too smug for me. I will give it a 5/10.


Sci-Fi Gene said...

Great review, and I especially loved the way you avoided giving away any spoilers ;)

I do agree with you about excessive irony. I think for some time now there's been this idea that everything has to be knowing/tongue-in-cheek/ironic. I think it started with Scream but you're the horror movie historian, you may know of earlier examples!

Sometimes these ironic movies (horror or otherwise) turn out to be great. I think Wes Craven was really on to something with Scream. What I don't like is the idea that it's no longer OK to watch a straightforward horror movie without an ironic framing device. This was the problem with Rubber too - all the metaphorical stuff about people watching through binoculars just got in the way of the psychopathic rubber tyre rampage.

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