The Cabin In The Woods.

14 Apr

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From the many, many, many reviews I read about The Cabin In The Woods, I went into it with an understanding that it would be very much like Marmite. I was either going to be a horror fan and completely understand and love this film, or I was going to think that it is a giant cheese and cliché fest and hate it. If only things were that simple.

Without giving too much away, as you really need to know as little as possible to enjoy it, the film centres on a group of five young friends (including Chris Hemsworth and Richard Jenkins) who after deciding they need to get away from it all for the weekend head to a cabin in the woods to ‘get the party started’. Sound familiar? So it should as this film is a parody from start to finish. Much like parodies before it (e.g. Scary Movie, Hot Shots), but this time sticking specifically to the horror genre, the ingredients are all there; the obvious warning of ensuing danger from the gas-station attendant which the main protagonists all choose to ignore, the clichéd characters – the jock, the joker, the slut, the nerd and the virgin – who are bound to meet their demise in accordance with their actions and the ‘Oh man don’t go in there!’ moments where you can’t help but scream at your television screen. However all of these ingredients, these clichés, are strategically placed so as to pay homage to all those that inspired its creation.

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However in the style of those who wrote it (Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard – masters of all things supernatural and sci-fi), it is obvious that this film isn’t going to be a straight-laced parody. Again, without revealing too much, it becomes apparent that our fab five are under surveillance and their decisions are being manipulated. A friend said to me upon recommendation that The Cabin In The Woods was a cross between Evil Dead (the original 1981 version) and The Truman Show. For obvious reasons this statement is correct but it doesn’t have either the staying power of the former or the integrity of the latter. As David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter remarked, “It’s just too bad the movie is never much more than a hollow exercise in self-reflexive cleverness that’s not nearly as ingenious as it seems to think”.

You have to enjoy this film for what it is, a well-acted giant puzzle with hidden and obvious horror movie references, a hugely humorous script (most notably joker-boy Marty saying ‘OK, I’m drawing a line in the fucking sand. Do NOT read the Latin!’….no good can ever come from reading Latin!) and an interesting plot that even though is a parody of other films still manages to remain extremely unique. A memorable viewing experience that unfortunately for its slightly low calibre I probably wont be repeating.

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Selling Point – Every scene with Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford who give a master-class in delivery of comedic lines.

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