1001 Movies: Cabin in the Woods

Hello everyone. I’m glad that you’ve decided to join me on this cinematic journey. The next movie that I watched was such an amazing movie. It’s a shame that this movie got stuck in limbo for a few years, but in the end it’s probably for the best. While Cabin in the Woods is a smartly made movie and deserves every word of praise it garners, I have a feeling that since The Avengers has made Joss Whedon’s name a much larger pull than two years ago, that’s helped the movie tremendously.  I do want to take this time to warn you that if you have NOT SEEN this movie I would steer clear. SPOLIERS are ahead, so readers beware.

2.) Cabin in the Woods

I have so many good things to say about this movie that it could take up at least five pages, so to keep from boring you too much I’ll I keep this brief. Cabin in the Woods is a near perfect send up to the horror movie genre. Drew Goddard – writer of Cloverfield – and long time collaborator Joss Whedon – writer of everything awesome – do a great job at hooking their audience and throwing every curveball in the book. Just when you think you have this movie figured out, you don’t.

The story follows Dana (Kristin Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Holden (Jesse Williams), five friends in need of a long study break from the pressures of school and adulthood. The friends head out to Curt’s cousin’s remote lake cabin for r & r, but their weekend getaway isn’t how they imagined it at all. There’s actually something quite wrong with the carbin but by the time the secret is figured out, it may be too late for Curt and his friends.

I just want to start off by saying that Joss Whedon is awesome! It’s really that simple. He’s created so many classic characters over the years and Drew Goddard has been by his side since the Buffy years. After watching Cabin it’s very apparent that these two have a tremendous love for the horror genre, but that they’ve also grown tired of the genre’s predictability.  In my mind the movie is equal parts tribute and mockery. What made this movie so great is that it took a lot of the taboos and flipped them on their heads. The fact that everyone always splits up in horror movies isn’t apparently as much about stupidity as we once believed. I laughed when Curt proclaims to the group that they need to stick together as they search the cabin, but master control uses some sort of gas to change his mind.

Yeah, you heard me right, there is a master control pulling the strings of this puppet show. It’s a funny explanation for the monotony of horror genre.  It was also pretty hilarious that each new group becomes a living choose your own execution story. The part that really stuck with me was Marty and Dana’s elevator trip through the facility. With each new stop they came face-to-face with some new horror. This was a great way to creep out audiences while also throwing in multiple nods to classic horror films. The Sawhead man holding a puzzle sphere was probably the homage that made me giggle the most.

I can’t go without giving praise to the cast of this film. All of the main players were fantastic and hammed it up just right to capture the essence of the character cliché. Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford were hysterical as the puppet masters. The fact that they held a betting pool for which creature would do in kids made me giggle multiple times. I think my second favorite part was Whitford’s character’s ironic demise at the hands of a mermaid.

With as much praise as I’ve dished out I just have to say that there were a few flaws. I was disappointed that you see the bird fly into the dome at the beginning because it took all the shock out of Curt’s death. While it was still amusing, I saw it coming from a mile away. I also can’t say that I loved the ending as much as the rest of the movie. My reasoning is because the movie had so many highs that it’s hard to really come up with a worthy ending. It wasn’t that it was bad but I just felt a little underwhelmed.  With that being said, I still absolutely loved Cabin in the Woods. It was a fun ride beginning to end and created a new horror classic with the likes of Shawn of the Dead and Slither.

Another movie is in the bag. Stay tuned for the rest of my film pilgrimage and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here for 1001 Movies: Let Me In


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