Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods - Spoiler Free Impression

People frequently say they've been waiting years for movies to come out, the anticipation for a movie like The Dark Knight Rises is a good example, we've been waiting for four years for that movie to be released and for good reason. I'd been waiting for The Cabin in the Woods to be released ever-since I heard it was going into production in 2009. Movie-making is a long process but it seems like this movie was damn near never going to see the light of day.

Flashback to 2010, MGM filed for Chapter 11 and a large number of movies in development were either shelved or at risk of being dumped. Movies completed like CITW and the remake of Red Dawn (also featuring Chris Hemsworth) were delayed while MGM dealt with their money troubles, you probably heard about this because it put the future of the Bond movie franchise into doubt. Then they movie was slated to be released in 2010, on schedule, but it didn't. Instead, MGM decided to post-convert the movie into 3D, the new movie craze most likely hoping the 3D charge would give them a boost at the box office. That process delayed the movies release again to 2011, but now that it's been released without a 3D version the whole process seems a bit pointless. Honestly, I don't think 3D would have made the movie better. Some movies don't need 3D to be amazing.

I will say this movie is very good, that has to do a lot with the writing. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote the script, and I'm anybody who knows me knows I'm a Whedon loyalist through and through. Drew Goddard wrote some of my favorite episodes of Lost and Angel and had a great run on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic book, and he wrote Cloverfield. The movie was filled with that brand of humor present in Buffy, Angel, Firefly and all things Whedon. I have to say if anybody doesn't enjoy the movie it will be because it may be the funniest horror movie since Shaun of the Dead.

Now getting on to the movie itself, I loved it. Now I'm going to try my best to be spoiler free as I give you the plot. You've seen the 'cabin in the woods' horror flicks before, a group of youths go to a cabin, that just happens to be in the middle of the woods (kind of on the nose, I know) and one by one end up being killed. You have the stereotypical horror movie sacrifices: the slut, the fool, the scholar, the jock and the virgin, and they are hunted by something. You've seen it before in some of the classics, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween and their many sequels. Even modern day slasher flicks like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream follow these conventions, while recognizing them, and at some point lampooning them.

Now the twist on the convention is that these kids are being controlled by some type of outside force; someone has sent these people to this cabin and are controlling their actions, driving them to drink, smoke weed and have sex. And soon, that force begins to kill them. Now that's where I'll stop, because you need to see where the movie goes from their. The movie takes the common tropes of horror movies and flips them and twists them and at some points in the film tears them apart completely. That's what makes the movie so entertaining, it is very hard to impress or surprise anymore. It has become very difficult to come up with something original that does not appropriate something from another movie or medium.

I would love to praise The Cabin in the Woods and talk about all the stuff I loved about it but that would spoil some very good surprises. Watch the trailer to get a little bit of info.

Two movies from Joss Whedon being released in less than a months time... That sounds like providence to me.

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