13 April 2012
Horror | Thriller
You probably already know the story: five young adults go out to a remote part of a state forest and find an old hunting lodge to hang out, party, have sex, and get killed by some unseen enemy that enjoys hacking the kids to death. Look for this in Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead”, or more innocently in any episode of “Scooby Doo”. The formula is they all will die except for the most pure of heart, while the victims are a 1. w**** 2. jock 3. clown and 4. smarty-pants. Then again from one movie to another the attacking monster or demon could be anything, but what if it was EVERYTHING? “The Cabin in the Woods” is an attempt to poke fun at horror movies while scaring you just a little bit, and almost succeeds.
“Cabin…” stars five up and coming young people: Kristen Connolly (The Happening) plays Dana the shy one. Fran Kranz (TV’s Dollhouse, Much Ado About Nothing) is Marty a goofy pothead. Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek, Thor) is Curt the emasculating jock. Anna Hutchison (TV’s Power Rangers Jungle Fury, TV’s Spartacus) plays Jules the sexy one. Jesse Williams (TV’s Law and Order, Brooklyn’s Finest) plays Holden the genius of the bunch. Despite the varying differences, they are all friends and go out together in an RV to the woods to find Curt’s old cabin. Armed with beer, weed, and hormones the five young people only want to have a good time. Once arriving they begin to find strange items that are very old and bizarre, even grotesque. When Dana begins reading an old diary about a hillbilly family a hundred years ago, something in woods breaks out of the ground and begins walking toward them. The zombies systematically kill off all the young people except for Dana and Marty who just barely escapes, but he’s found something even more sinister: an elevator. This is where the real movie begins, as there is a frightening conspiracy hunting not just the students but people all over the world.
Written by Joss Whedon (Toy Story, Alien Resurrection) and Directed by Drew Goddard (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cloverfield), one can expect a lot of comic relief in this horror film, but in reality it’s more comedy than anything. Marty’s thermos can expand into a 4-foot long bong. A one-way mirror gives Dana and Holden a great show. As part of the game, Curt wants to keep the group together, but once chemicals are pumped into the room he suddenly changes his mind! The whole thing is rigged, and discovering the whole game is part of the fun. The monsters, all of them different, are pretty much every separate thing that gave you nightmares as a child. I won’t reveal how this comes around, that’s the fun of it all. My only concern that as clever as this movie is, the final minutes reveal another monster bent on world destruction. It just seems as a cheap cop-out to wrap up the movie. Sorry, but I have to take off a point.
“The Cabin in the Woods” is very fun, something to watch on Halloween with your buddies. It almost makes for an intelligent thriller too, but just falls short of being memorable.