Tuesday, April 24, 2012

cabin in the woods film review

it was a combination of friends going to a movie on a saturday afternoon coupled with a heat snap that sent us to watch the new release, cabin in the woods.  going into the film, i had very little idea about it. i had seen a preview, and it sorta looked like your stock slasher film – girls that will in all likelihood get nude and then die, people being brutally tortured and then dying, and a lone survivor.  it was unlikely that i would have gone and seen the film if the previous two conditions didn’t exist.  i actually felt that the movie was a remake of a previous film as it had the feeling of a 70’s b-flick and hollywood has been remaking the crap out of films of that genre.  so, i went in with little or no expectations.
side note – if you were initially headed out to lunch, then decided to join friends for a matinee, the movie theater is a bad place to actually eat a meal.  the options are fairly limited, and because they make so much on concessions, you’re going to spend a lot to get a little.  we knew this, and still did it.  oh well.
the movie centers around five college students who become a trapped, you guessed it, in a cabin in the woods.  i’m not giving anything away by mentioning plot points here because it’s right out in the open. honestly, in the first ten minutes or so you know the whole basis of the movie, the why things are going to happen. five college students have been selected because of their personalities and their youth. they will be sacrificed as a part of a ritual to appease something or someone greater in the world.
overall, i found the film to be pretty good. it’s no masterpiece, but it’s not supposed to be citizen kane. it’s a summer horror flick.  then again, it’s much more than that. while it does have the torture elements mentioned above, it has a lot of wit about it.  there is some decent dialog, and there were points that the whole theater were laughing at what was being said or was happening on screen. these were laughs that the writers intended, not just the comedy that slasher films can be.  there were also a few good “jump” moments that this type of film needs.
few random points: 
  • i was pleasantly surprised that the characters didn’t just behave in stereotypical horror fashion. when they did, it was explained. so, yes, the football guy acts like a dumb jock at points, but it makes sense, and more so than any other typical horror film.
  • i loved the references to other horror films. there were a lot of little winks and nods at other movies.  well done.  at some point i was trying to list all the references but it’s just too many. not in an overwhelming way, but there is a lot of little nods.
  • i can’t say it was perfectly done, but the drug references were better handled than in a lot of movies. i know it’s a strange, small complaint, but it does bug me when people in films take drugs and behave in manners that are unlike actual drug reactions. think about it, how many times have you seen someone in a movie ingest weed in some manner, and then act completely unlike any of your stoner friends. not the case here, so kudos.

the final verdict – cabin in the woods is a fun film.  with movie prices as what they are, i don’t think you have to rush out and see this on a friday night, but maybe catch a matinee. definitely see it on dvd, netflix or cable.


Adam said...

I think the comparisons to Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland are apt and with Johnny Depp's new vampire flick coming out, it appears we are in the hay day of self-referential horror genre flicks that make fun of themselves as much as they still appeal to the form and function of your classic horror film.

Good review and yeah, a good flick.

Alyssa said...

Cabin in the Woods was mind blowing.

Check out my review!