Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Dir. Drew Goddard – 95 Minutes
This was undoubtedly the *horror hit* of 2012, this is one film I had been waiting so long to see but had waited until Christmas Eve as an early Xmas present.
The directorial debut of Lost, Alias, Angel and Buffy writer Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and the masterful Joss Whedon, this had the pedigree but would it have the final product?
Hell Yeah! This was absolute genius , just everything about this works and is obviously put together by real horror fans with a huge knowledge of the genre.
So before this review starts , please be aware there may be a couple of spoilers BUT nothing that wasn’t in the trailers and nothing mentioned from after the first 20 minutes.
We start with 2 men in what looks like an underground facility, they seem to be getting ready for a days work , then straight to your stereotypical slasher fodder.
There are 5 college kids getting ready for a weekend away at a cabin, and low and behold it is *the slut , the jock , the stoner, the nerd and the virgin*.
This is typical genre material , they get into the campervan and head off to the cabin , stopping enroute to fill up at the spooky gas station.
Now this all sounds very pedestrian and done a million times before and that is the films genius. This is a brilliant homage to all the great films that we have been brought up on in the last 40 years.
After the kids arrive at the cabin then the movie kicks into top gear and off it goes. Now that is all I am going to say as I can’t spoil anything here, it is just not fair. There are so many moments of genius here that you just need to watch this and judge it for yourself.
Whedon and Goddard just have a ball here , I got references from Evil Dead , Cabin Fever , Scream , Dawn of the Dead , 2001 ,TCM , Halloween , Hellraiser , Friday 13th , Left 4 Dead , Truman Show and even The Shining.
This is a remarkable film, it is genuinely funny and creepy at times. But what won it for me was the intelligence in the script writing, direction and cinematography. It is like every horror film from the last 4 decades was rolled into one but it goes off on such a tangent that just as you think “oh yeah seen this” then BANG a 90 degree turn and your off again.
The acting is great especially from Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz (Dana and Marty respectively), the casting is superb throughout with Richard Jenkins (Sitterson) and Bradley Whitford (Hadley) giving real stellar performances. Must give a real honourable mention to Tim DeZarn who plays The Harbinger with real aplomb.
This truly surprised me , I knew that people loved it and also many hated it. But I fall in the loved it camp. As I watched it I saw so many things that I recognised and that had made me love the horror genre.
I think if you are a genre buff then this is definitely for you as there is so much to get out of it. I know I shall return to this many times and each time get something new from it.
This is a wonderful homage to all that is good in horror , but is written in such a way that it is truly unique and a milestone in cinema.
I urge everyone to watch this , just sit back and enjoy the 95 minute horror rollercoaster that awaits.
A special moment in horror film 9/10