Wednesday, 4 April 2012

REVIEW - The Cabin In The Woods * * * *

Review by Damon Rickard
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Bradley Whitford
Written by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Certification UK 15 US R
Runtime 101 minutes
Directed by Drew Goddard

I will start by saying sorry that I have not put a trailer up for you guys on this one.  But there is good reason.  I avoided seeing it just in case they put something in there that might spoil the fun factor of this movie.  Going in blind is definitely the way to do it.  Well blind on the plot front anyway.

But the point of a review is to let you know if you should go and see the film.  I've seen a lot of reviews where people say don't read reviews.  I would say if you do, be careful if you want to maximise the  entertainment factor with this.  It's a ride of a film and you need to go with it but it makes it better if you don't know where it's taking you.

Written by TV stalwart Joss Whedon this has his sensibilities all over it.  The style of character and dialogue is most definitely his as is the revamping of a genre to make something of his own.  Take the likes of Firefly (not exactly your conventional sci fi) and Buffy (whilst the original film lacked in quality the idea was strong enough for a hugely successful TV show), which certainly gave a new spin on the vampire tales of yesteryear.  Well he's done it again with the horror genre (I don't count Buffy in that as it is as much horror as Twilight is in my humble opinion - just much better).

This film is so full of horror references, the buffs (nay geeks) will practically explode trying to spot them all.  The idea here is to take something so generic and uninspiring about horror and the stick two fingers up at it and say "here's what you can do with this setting!!".  It would appear that Whedon has plumped for the atypical cabin in the atypical woods and filled it with the atypical young, good looking people that are just awaiting all the horrible things to happen.  There's even a cellar.

Cabin goes to places even Sam Raimi didn't manage to take his poor folk in the Evil Dead series when they visited their Cabin of doom.  Some of you will hate what this film has to offer whereas others will simply love it for its freshness and daring approach to a genre that is always in danger of becoming stale (remakes, sequels, Michael Bay just some of those reasons).  

Whilst not flawless it is a very entertaining ride.  The characters are all well placed with specific traits to give them their meaning in the film (it's almost like they stuck The Breakfast Club in there!), the dialogue snappy and funny and the pacing is almost perfect.  Slow build, picks up with the action after we get to know our gang and then the end set piece just ramps it up to the Spinal Tap proverbial 11.

You get your gore, your scares, your laughs.  And the laughs aren't your Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay (someone might think I don't like him) forced gags just for the sake of it, no, they're well placed and seem natural coming from the characters we have gotten to know.  None of it seems "jokey".

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Cabin and would recommend this to anyone that loves a good horror and especially to those that just love horror.  It's a love letter and reinvention of the genre all in one Cabin In The Woods.


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