THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Earlier this year when I got a chance to see “The Cabin in the Woods,” I was a bit cautious. This was mainly because I’ve never been much of a Joss Whedon fan. Sure, I know that Drew Goddard directed the film, and he should be given more credit for it than Whedon, but I know that Whedon was heavily involved.
To note, this was before I saw “The Avengers,” which is one of my favorite films of 2012, and I was just going on my opinion of Whedon’s television series, where I stray from the typical love of the genre. However, like “The Avengers,” I found “The Cabin in the Woods” to be one of the most clever and entertaining movies of the year.
It was a treat to revisit the film on Blu-ray, which was also a cautious approach. After all, I wasn’t sure the film was going to hold up after seeing it theatrical, simply because there were so many surprises in it, I wasn’t sure things would still be interesting.
Upon watching it again, the film has held up. More so, actually. This isn’t a horror film necessarily, but a deconstruction of the genre. It’s set-up is typical: Five college students head to a remote cabin in the woods for a weekend of drinking and sex. Mysterious people are tracking them along the way, and the students soon find themselves in a dangerous game.
If you haven’t seen this film yet, don’t learn anything more than what is said above. It’s one that is easily spoiled, but it’s also something that even people who aren’t fans of the genre can appreciate. Of course, anyone who knows their horror fiction trends will find a lot of great meta references in the movie. Sure, there’s still a lot of blood and violence, and there’s a nice dose of nudity (which is refreshing to see done shamelessly now in a film without aiming for a PG-13 rating). So the elements are there, but this is more than just a typical horror movie.
With some sharp writing and compelling concepts, “The Cabin in the Woods” is still one of the most enjoyable films to be released this year.
The Blu-ray comes with quite a few special features. There are basic elements, including and audio commentary with Goddard and Whedon, plus Digital Copy and UltraViolet access. Featurettes include “We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods,” “An Army of Nightmares: Makeup & Animatronic Effects,” “Primal Terror: Visual Effects,” “The Secret Secret Stash: Marty’s Stash” and a WonderCon Q&A.
For fans of the branching formatting of Blu-rays, “It’s Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods BonusView Mode” offers various tidbits throughout the film itself.