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“The Cabin in the Woods” – Review (POSITIVE)

April 14, 2012

First off, Joss Whedon, you are a GOD! Drew Goddard, you are a GOD! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Movie fans have waited long enough since the two-year delay of this impending horror movie opus. Shot in 2009, and scheduled for an early 2010 release, “The Cabin in the Woods” fell victim to the Chapter 11 catastrophe at MGM studios, henceforth leaving this potential hit in limbo. Whedon made sure the movie would earn its release in the theaters; lucky enough Lionsgate came along and saved the day. So, here we are, nearly three years later and “The Cabin in the Woods” has made it, what’s the outcome you must wonder? It’s unbelievable!

Horror movies of today have been lacking brains, cleverness, and cheekiness; fanboy favorites Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard have discovered the horror film nirvana by taking the entire genre of horror and flipping it on it’s head. And when I mean the entire genre I mean the ENTIRE FUCKING GENRE OF HORROR (you’ll see). The movie takes the clichéd routes of your typical college kids facing a bad slasher kind of scenario to that familiar level, for a good reason. It’s the drive that leads our characters down a treacherous path preparing to reveal what’s really behind the curtain, and once the curtain is pulled back, you won’t believe your eyes or ears.

The movie opens with a cleverly constructed, horrifying, title opener, then it stops, taking us into a workplace, filled with regular average Joe’s & Jane’s. Richard Jenkins & Bradley Whitford’s characters are extremely memorable as the guys doing their ‘job’, I will not go into detail on what they do, who they’re working for, and why they do what they do (it’ll ruin the fun if I explain). We are then introduced to our five protagonists; the sensitive ‘virgin’ (Kristen Connolly), the goofy pothead (Fran Kranz), the handsome jock (Chris Hemsworth), the sexy blonde (Anna Hutchison), and the black friend  (Jesse Williams), who is also sensitive. Each person is selected all for a purpose, being that it is….well, it’s all part of the fun and mystery behind the film.

In a nutshell, the movie is an absolutely brilliant deconstruction of horror clichés that manages to intertwine likable characters. Even though these characters are very typical and are played out as rehashed embodiments of past horror film characters, you really care for them, all thanks goes to the casting. The writing is witty (typical of Joss Whedon), it’s twisting and tying the plot and connects everything in such a fashion that kept me grinning throughout the whole time. Which brings me to my next point, is the film played out better as a horror film or a comedy or even both? For me, as a movie geek I found myself laughing and giggling at all the great quips the movie was pointing out. If you understand Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard’s writing styles, you can see why it’s straight-up funny. It really all comes down to the person, if you’re a bit of a coward when it comes to horror movies, you’re gonna jump, if you’re quite the opposite and embrace horror movies you’ll be basking in it from beginning to end.

I wish I could talk about the last fifteen minutes of the film, because if you think the movie was going in a certain direction, it takes you to a whole new place right out of nowhere. The final act of the film will go down in history as one of the biggest mind fucks ever in a horror film. It was amazing, and I cannot be anymore clearer than that. Just see the damn movie, you’re not going to get anything this good for a long long time. Again, Whedon=GOD, Goddard=GOD!


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