The trailers for “The Cabin in the Woods” painted the picture of a film that would simply regurgitate the same old cliché material its slasher film predecessors had laid down decades before.
After seeing the film, I think that was the intention of the advertisers, but the movie itself delivered so much more than that.
Through its introduction, “Cabin” creates an environment that audiences have seen a million times before.
A misfit group of high school kids all cram together in an old RV and head out to a remote cabin in the woods for a weekend of drugs, booze and sex.
Sounds like a familiar Crystal Lake scene to me, and this film was even released on Friday the 13th.
On the way to their campsite, they stop for gas at a station that looks like it came straight out of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
The station looks like it hasn’t been in working order for decades, and the attendant is reminiscent of a certain “The Hills Have Eyes” character.
With a weekend like this, what could possibly go wrong?
The difference between a traditional slasher B-movie and “Cabin” is that every aspect of the environment surrounding the cabin is controlled by a group of people watching the entire thing and also controlling the outcome.
Imagine “The Hunger Games” with a handful of zombies as contestants, only there are no winners.
Then, imagine these zombies were just as hard to kill as John McClane (“Die Hard”).
Tie it all together with a lot of laughs and you’ve got “The Cabin in the Woods.”
While some of the early reviews for this movie hail it as one of the most unique and visionary horror film of all time, I don’t believe it should even be classified under that genre.
I feel it is an inaccurate portrayal of what the creators were trying to do in the first place.
Much of the material is far more funny than scary, and even the more graphic scenes aren’t very scary, because the director never seems to takes this thing more seriously than he should.
“Cabin” is a satire on the genre of horror itself, and an effective one at that.
The genre very rarely offers films that contain sort of artistic or creative nature, but this is certainly an exception.
As the survivors of this vacation from hell struggle to find safety, they discover an elevator.
Unfortunately, the elevator can only go down, which doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.
The elevator leads them into a separate reality, with creatures that usually only exist in nightmares.
The CGI gets a little ridiculous at this point, but again, I believe all that is intended.
It’s not like we’ve never seen terrible CGI in a horror film before.
The screenplay for “Cabin” was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.
They have worked together in the past with projects like TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”
Goddard directed this film, and it was actually his first directorial job.
Whedon is likely to be a household name in about a month or so.
He directed and wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster, “The Avengers,” which is set to release on May 4.
Whedon also created the cult TV series, “Firefly” and wrote the movie spin-off “Serenity.”
Overall, I found “The Cabin in the Woods” to be very entertaining from start to finish, and, although I was surprised by the fact that it wasn’t a cliché slasher flick, it turned out to be something much better.
Despite the fact that the movie wasn’t really a true horror film, it definitely has enough of a gore element that others will surely call it that.
I’m not sure how I would define it, other than simply saying that it is a refreshing bird’s eye view of a genre that has been bland for some time now.
This is a movie that forces viewers to expect the unexpected, even though our eyes are telling us otherwise.
Although the beginning feels a great deal like something we’ve seen before, the end result makes us aware that we haven’t.