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The Cabin in the Woods


Jeff Nelson

The Cabin in the Woods comes highly recommended to all moviegoers who even slightly enjoy the horror genre.

The Cabin in the Woods
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Horror fans worldwide were feeling angry when The Cabin in the Woods continued to be pushed back. Due to financial issues, the studio that owned the film kept it locked up in the vault, not to see the light of day for quite some time. Finally, Lionsgate bought the movie off of them. This had me, along with other moviegoers who were anticipating its release, jumping up and down in excitement. I was slightly worried before the screenings started being shown as to whether or not it would really stand up to my high expectations. It easily did. Get ready for a film to change horror movies for this generation.

I saw The Cabin in the Woods without knowing anything about it. This is the best way to check it out, therefore I don't want to spoil anything for you guys. It's very difficult to give a synopsis of The Cabin in the Woods without spoiling everything. The most you need to know about is that it's about five friends going to a secluded cabin and they become in real trouble without any cell phone signals or communication to the rest of the world. Sounds extremely cliché, right? Well, just as everything seems predictable and old, the story twists and turns into something completely out of the box. When explaining everything generally about this movie, everything sounds very much like everything we've seen in a bunch of different horror movies. Believe me when I say that this is so off the map and original. The horror genre genuinely needed a new idea that wasn't a prequel, sequel, or remake. Writers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon deserve a lot of praise for this screenplay. Sure, it's not going to win any Academy Awards, but it's successfully able to mix horror, suspense, and comedy into one movie. It never takes itself too seriously and never tries hard at anything. It seems to just flow. The running time goes by at the blink of an eye by how fun this one is. I realize that I'm raving about everything in this department, but The Cabin in the Woods deserves it. The characters are all cookie cutters, but then all of a sudden, there's a bit of a twist. The roles seem to have changed between the bunch as to who seems to be the smartest in the group with the most common sense. This is usually the 'virgin'-role who seems to be the brightest, correct? Well, that's not the case here. The Cabin in the Woods doesn't have quite a perfect script, but it's definitely is strong. There are plot holes here and there, but you won't be thinking about that since you'll be too busy having a blast watching this. If you're expecting something as well-written as an award-winning movie here, you won't get that, but it gives horror fans what we've been asking for for so long. A movie that can bring fear, laughter, and tension to a theater all at the same time. Not to mention there's a nice surprise cameo at the end that fans will enjoy. The last portion of this movie is sure to have horror movie followers smiling in absolute joy in his or her seat.

Fortunately, the cast here recognizes that this movie isn't meant to be taken seriously. His or her performances are given accordingly. Kristen Connolly is Dana, the 'virgin' character. While she isn't the brightest of the group when trying to find an escape route or when innocently exploring old items in the cabin, her acting is just fine. Chris Hemsworth is Curt, the jock. Audiences most know him as the superhero Thor, although this was filmed long before he had that role. He delivers the character well and proves to be talented beyond that one character. Anna Hutchison is the promiscuous one who will have male viewers drooling during scene of dancing in front of a fire. Fran Kranz is good as Marty as he fits the role and Jesse Williams is Holden, whom we see the least of. Richard Jenkins is even in The Cabin in the Woods. As always, he does a great job I don't want to give the cameo away, so I'll leave that to your surprise. The performances are good for what the movie is. None of them take the production too seriously and are able to keep the traditional horror movie elements, yet add many tweaks to it.

When creating a horror movie with a lot of buzz, nowadays that means making a PG-13 rated flick. Thankfully, that isn't the case with The Cabin in the Woods. This is a full-fledged rated R feature and it's clear that the filmmakers are proud of it, as they should be. The last act especially brings a large amount of blood and gore. The cinematographer and director have teamed up together wonderfully in order to create an impressive atmosphere. Horror fans will appreciate all of the small references to classics such as The Evil Dead. The visuals are all great. The jump scares are placed well, so make sure that the theater you go to has a strong sound system. This is a film you want to see with the sound cranked up loud. However, the CG work that's present is shoddy.

I walked into the screening hoping that The Cabin in the Woods would be all I was anticipating for all of this time, and it was. This is a very well-made horror film. Those who enjoy the genre should be supporting it by going to see this in theaters this weekend. I guarantee that anybody who even slightly enjoys the genre will find this to be well-done. It offers everything that moviegoers have been wishing for a film of this nature to. It isn't a remake, prequel, or sequel, but a purely original story that really shines and shows its original roots. Hopefully this inspires other filmmakers to make more original features instead of the re-imaginging of other filmmakers' works. As I've said, reading up on this too much will spoil the excitement that it offers. I suggest not reading further than this review. I tried to filter myself as much as possible to not ruin it since even telling the full plot will spoil the fun of discovering while viewing. The final act of this film is a horror fan's wet dream. The Cabin in the Woods is tense, intensionally funny, and is true horror. Don't pass this up and go check it out this weekend in theaters. It comes highly recommended to all moviegoers who even slightly enjoy the horror genre.

My Rating = Four and One Half Stars

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