Monday, April 16, 2012

Mini movie review: The Cabin in the Woods

I used to go to movies almost every week - I didn't work Fridays and more often than not I'd hit a Friday matinee.  When we moved from Maine to Utah that changed: first I didn't have a job, so I didn't want to spend money I wasn't making on movies; then I got a job and had to work Fridays, plus we were so busy on the weekend doing things that I just never went.  I missed it a little but I also figured stuff came out on DVD so quickly that I wasn't really missing anything (well, I sort of wish I'd seen Inception on the big screen but our new t.v. should do okay).  Finally, a film came out that I wanted to see in the theater, partly to support the movie and partly because I had put myself into internet-exile so as not to get spoiled.  The Cabin in the Woods, my first theater movie since August 2009.

Written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon (frickin' dream team right there!) and directed by Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods is not the scariest horror flick ever, but it is certainly one of the cleverest and it is absolutely one that anyone who calls themselves a horror fan should see.  Yes, there's a cabin in the woods - straight out of Evil Dead.  Yes, there are five classic horror film characters - the slut, the jock, the sensitive guy, the fool and the virgin - but they are all actually developed characters, not shallow tropes, and you care about them.  Yes, there are zombies and people acting stupidly, but there are reasons for all of it.  TCitW is funny, jumpy and bloody, it explores horror movies and why we like them.  People are either going to get it and love it, or they're going to miss the point and wonder why there weren't more boobs and/or beheadings.  For the record, there are both boobs and beheadings.

The cast too is fantastic.  There's Chris Hemsworth, pre-Thor.  There's Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins, lending an air of respectability.  There are Whedon alums a-plenty with Fran Kranz, Amy Acker and Tom Lenk.  And MILD SPOILER there's a killer unicorn.  What more do you need?

Seriously, if you like horror movies at all, you'll like this movie.  If you are a Whedon or Goddard fan, you'll like this movie.  Me, I thought it was great fun and I plan to buy it when it comes out on DVD - the last thirty minutes are completely batshit crazy and I need to watch it many more times before I'll come close to taking it all in.  Go see it, and quickly before you get spoiled on it.

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