THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
**** (out of 5)
April 13, 2012
Kristen Connolly as DANA
Chris Hemsworth as CURT
Anna Hutchison as JULES
Fran Kranz as MARTY
Jesse Williams as HOLDEN
Richard Jenkins as SITTERSON
Bradley Whitford as HADLEY
Directed by: Drew Goddard
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I love horror movies. Probably not as much as some people do, but I really do enjoy a good scary flick. Unfortunately for a horror movie fan, the biggest problem with the genre is that trends come and go, and they get old fast. So when a movie comes down the pike that is truly unique and different, it’s something to be celebrated.
Such is the case with “The Cabin in the Woods.” Directed by “Clover field” screenwriter Drew Goddard, “Cabin” turns the horror genre on its ear, but it does so with honor and respect. That’s not to say you have to be a die-hard horror movie fanatic to understand it or get all the inside jokes. A mainstream moviegoer can enjoy it as well, as long as they are okay with a little bit of blood, violence and gore. Or a lot of it.
The set-up sounds like something you’ve heard a hundred times before. A group of college kids head out to a cabin deep in the woods for a weekend getaway. As they start partying, some crazy things start to happen. Soon, they find themselves under attack by incredible and fearsome forces, and they have to fight to survive.
I don’t want to say any more than that about the plot specifics, not because there’s nothing else in there. Instead, that’s all that should be revealed before seeing the film. The truth is there’s more to the story than just that. There’s a lot more. But all those elements and things that happen are best left as a surprise for the viewer.
“The Cabin in the Woods” plays with convention, evidenced by the overly trite and silly set-up. Fortunately, from the opening scene, the audience is told there’s something more than just a standard cabin in the woods story. The real fun is watching how things unravel.
In a floundering genre (at least from the standpoint of major releases) that is weighted down with found footage, which was only a band-aid that replaced torture porn a few years ago, “The Cabin in the Woods” is a breath of fresh air.
It’s rare to come across such a unique movie that dares to push these buttons. The last time I remember such a self-aware and clever flick was “Being John Malkovich.” There’s a big difference between those films, but they were both game changers.
I do hope, however, that “The Cabin in the Woods” actually is a game changer. The fear I have is that folks won’t see it, either because they’re resisting the overwhelming geekgasms happening all over the internet, or if they think it’s just going to be a run-of-the-mill cabin in the woods horror flick. It makes me want to walk around with a sandwich board sign to tell people it’s more than what you think.
In any case, this is a movie that’s worth seeing… for the actors, for the clever story, for the hype. And the less you say about it to your friends, the better… just convince them to go with you.