Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 361 - The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) directed by Drew Goddard

I saw the title of the film and I immediately had no interest. A horror movie that takes place in a cabin in the woods? How lame and unoriginal. That is until my friend told me I simply had to watch it and that it is nothing like I've ever seen before. So I took him at his word and was totally taken aback by this ridiculous horror parody that does such a good job at poking fun of the genre that it becomes something else all together. I am reminded of the original Scream, a slasher flick that was so aware of its own upbringing that it relished in its own cliches. The Cabin in the Woods borrows from a bunch of different genres, horror, science fiction, conspiracy and comedy and mashes them all together creating one of the most original titles I've seen in years.

I'll try not to spoil anything about the movie other than the basics. A group of five college kids go out on a trip to a cousin's remote cabin in the woods. It is a premise that is so familiar that the film is purposely titled as such as a jab to people like me who'd think "Oh great. What an original idea." But what really interests the viewer isn't this standard horror film premise but what is going on behind the scenes. Something devious is going on in a giant laboratory pulling all the strings and we get the sense of something much bigger going on, but we can't yet understand what. Other than the purposely cryptic behind the scenes laboratory stuff the film begins as typical horror films do. There are a couple genuine scares and suspense, but that really isn't the point of the film. Once we realize what is actually going on in the film, you can't help but shake your head at the sheer ridiculousness yet genius of it all. The grand finale of the film is just so absurd and awesome that I dare not spoil it. I don't think I could even if I wanted to.

I know I'm being purposely vague and ambiguous in describing this movie but like many horror films it is best that I not spoil the any of the fun. Just believe me when I say that you think you know how this will go but you really have no idea. It is one of the most original and audacious ideas for a film I've seen in a while. There is some more in depth stuff I could talk about, like how this movie is so aware of its cliches it smashes them all together or how the writers/directors of the film are like the lab guys behind the scenes putting on a show for our entertainment, but this film doesn't need that type of nitpicking to be enjoyed. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Grade: A

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