|Written by John. Follow him on twitter: @UKFilmNerd|
So why did I watch The Cabin in the Woods? The reviews were all very promising and the trailer showed that this was a horror film with a different kind of twist. Also the fact that Joss Whedon (Firefly, Serenity, Avengers) wrote this film piqued my interest.
The film opens with two technicians in an office discussing mundane everyday problems. They soon start talking about their jobs and walk through to a larger part of the building revealing other workers in lab coats etc. But not in a way to reveal what they actually do. The film then cuts to a group of college kids as they prepare to go to a log cabin for the weekend to enjoy themselves and have fun. Halfway there the young gang stop off to get some fuel at an old gas station where the elderly owner warns them to stay away from the cabin as it has a bad history associated with it. They ignore him and travel up to the cabin anyway.
Now this all sounds very clichéd and it is for good reason. Of course the two stories (college kids/technicians) are connected and to tell you any more would be to ruin the experience for you.
The clues as to what is happening are laid down very early on and I figured out the basic plot points within the first half. I watched eagerly to find out if I was right and what the specifics where. My guesses were right and I was a little underwhelmed at the end because I was hoping for something bigger and more clever.
Don’t let that put you off though as the final fifteen minutes of the film are an all-out, no holds barred horror fest that I can’t explain for spoiler reasons. It was still a great end to the movie and one you certainly won’t be expecting.
The college kids are played very well with each one taking a horror movie stereotypical role (for reasons that become apparent by the end). There’s a younger pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth (this was filmed in 2009 but due to MGM going bankrupt the film sat on the shelf for almost three years along with another Hemsworth film, Red Dawn, which will finally be released in a few months) and Jesse Williams as the jocks. Then there’s Kristen Connolly and Anna Hutchison as the party and innocent girls respectively. Finally Fran Kranzplay's the stoner who steals the show with some of the best lines.
There’s a brilliant cameo at the end from a very famous person that I was not expecting at all and unless you’ve read a very spoiler heavy review you’ll also find it a great surprise.
If you’re a horror film fan you’ll appreciate all the nods to the other films of the genre with the Japanese horror reference getting a big laugh from me. But Even if you’re not into the genre I still recommend watching this as it’s not just a straight up horror, there’s a healthy dose of comedy in there as well.
The Cabin in the Woods is available now on DVD and Blu-ray*
*Except in the UK where the blu-ray has been recalled due to disc authoring problems causing the film to freeze every so often. Replacements should be in the stores in the coming weeks.