Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cabin = Effective and Fun!

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Director: Drew Goddard

Reviewed: 25 October 2012

jamesintexas rating--***

A reluctant 3 star rating.  Why reluctant?  I don't really know.  "The Cabin in the Woods" is fun to think about, has very funny meta-moments, and I think at another time in my life I would have loved it even more.  It has Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, as the blandly named Sitterson and Hadley, the less of which is said, the better.  A disposable cast led by the likable Chris Hemsworth as Curt takes a weekend trip to a remote cabin in the woods.  Things from the start are never on the up and up.  Goddard's focus is on deconstructing and satirizing the modern horror film and its conventions, and there are several clever plays on this idea.

It sets up an interesting twist on the genre, though at times, I feel it is too predictable or reminiscent of other films like John Carpenter's "They Live."  There are some horror freak-out sequences that are just gonzo, and I admired that, though as the CGI is thrown at me, my actual horror level decreases.  There's some nice juxtaposition at work with the two stories, as well as a violent scene playing out in the background at a party scene.  Goddard seems, rightly, to be commenting on how strange it is for a group of people to gather and be entertained by another character's intense humiliation and suffering.  The drinking in the it really any different than munching on popcorn, drinking Coke, or chowing on Buncha Crunch during a film?  There's clearly a lot to freeze frame and see, as well as references to games and monsters that I didn't get, but on a basic, visceral level, I enjoyed this movie.  I liked its breeziness and attitude.  Jenkins and Whitford are delightful; I wanted to see an entire movie about them.

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