The Watchers

The Watchers

Monday, 16 April 2012

Review: The Cabin In The Woods (UK cert 15)

Filmed in 2009 but left in distributor limbo after MGM went bankrupt, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's The Cabin In The Woods finally picked up a new distributor (Lionsgate who distributed the Saw franchise) and has finally made it to the cinemas. I have to say, it would have been a crying shame to have left such an inventive, funny and downright bizarre movie on the shelf.

We know the set-up. Five young and nubile guys and gals- jock Curt (Chris Hemsworth), wild girl Jules (Anna Hutchison), good girl Dana (Kristen Connolly), studious Holden (Jesse Williams) and stoner Marty (Fran Kranz)- take off from the city for a weekend away at the titlular dwelling. Everything seems primed for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre type of scenario - a sinister local, dilapidated cabin, the characters morally transgressing (sex, drink and drugs, oh my!)- and, true to form, the cabin comes under attack. It's a fight for survival and not everyone will make it out unscathed. So far, so-so. A well-worn tale, I'm sure you'll agree.

But then you have to factor in the genius of Joss Whedon. If you've seen the extended trailer, this won't be a spoiler in the strictest sense of the word: the events in the cabin and its surroundings are being manipulated by a shadowy underground team (played perfectly by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford). But why? This plot reveal is where things go into the truly surreal- it kind of comes out of left-field- and I'm certainly not going to spoil it for you. I think this twist will be the test of what people think of the film: you may, like me, think it was a reasonable (if slightly insane) explanation or it may be a preposterousness too far. You be the judge.

For me, I really liked the film. I'm not a huge fan of horror, having been repulsed and bored by many subpar slashers who think that breasts and blood come first with a decent plot limping in at the end. The Cabin In The Woods plays with this notion quite well; the film comes off as a bit of a mix- taking Scream's self-referentiality and mixing in a bit of The Evil Dead's comedy-horror blend. The gore is not excessively over-the-top (until the end) and some moments are a bit jumpy. There's also a great deal of comedy to be found- Marty gets some of the best lines which had the audience in stitches and there's a particularly funny scene involving a telephone call on speakerphone which had me giggling.

In the last thirty minutes or so, things do get a bit out there but there's a stunning cameo which I didn't expect. All said, the film is a bit crazy but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


No comments:

Post a Comment