Monday, October 8, 2012

Random Review (The Cabin in the Woods)

Whenever I add a new DVD/Blu-Ray to my entertainment collection, I have to restructure my Random Review list to accommodate the newcomer.  What I usually do is take the list of my inventory and randomize it all over again.  Where the new addition lands in the list is where I insert it in the original rundown.  As luck would have it, one of my new additions, The Cabin in the Woods was number three on the new list and so, by default it became my next movie to review.  Very excited about that because I loved this movie so much.  Unlike most of the movies I review on this blog, this is actually a fairly recent release.  If you haven't seen it yet, then I must warn you that my review WILL HAVE SPOILERS.  If you have any interest in seeing this, I implore you to go watch it first and then come back here!

If this is your first Random Review and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.

I went into the theater to see this movie with very little knowledge of what I was about to see.  The makers did a great job of hiding the big twists and turns of the movie.  The trailer didn't really do all that much to excite me, but just enough to spark a little interest from this horror movie nerd.  Truthfully, what really got me into it was the shot of the little girl with a giant hole in her face.  I had no idea I was about to watch a movie that would be placed just outside of my top 20 movies of all-time.

The movie reveals itself immediately.  What you think is a typical, as the title of the movie states, flick about some kids in a cabin in the woods is actually something much deeper.  The first two characters you're introduced to are Gary Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford).  They're walking through a massive laboratory-esque complex having a little small talk.  They're vaguely discussing a project their company is working on and BOOM the most random title screen imaginable happens.  They did such a spectacular job of getting me hooked right into this movie with the opening few minutes.  You learn instantly that there is so much more to this movie and I was all in.

You're introduced to the subjects of the company's plan next with a shot of the very cute Kristen Connolly (who plays Dana) in her underwear.  A seriously amazing job by the makers of this movie to get audiences hooked right away.  I applaud thee.  Dana's friends Curt (Thor himself Chris Hemsworth), Jules (former Power Ranger Anna Hutchison), Holden (Jesse Williams) and Marty (Fran Kranz) all show up and you meet the crew.  The introduction of Marty is one of the greatest ones I've ever seen in a movie.  He drives up in a beat up car with a homemade bong assembled from a coffee mug that reverts back to a coffee mug for stealth.  That's intuitiveness right there.

The group drives up to Curt's family's cabin in the woods and the fun begins.  The group discover a slew of eerie artifacts in the basement, all of which will trigger the upcoming events they're about to go through.  Basically, they're choosing the monsters that are about to fuck with them.  One of the most entertaining aspects of this film was watching the company who controls these monsters take bets as to which gruesome entity will be chosen.  If you're a horror nerd like me, do yourself a favor and take a look at the giant board of monsters that are possibly choices.  Zombie redneck family ends up getting chosen in a scene very similar to Evil Dead where Dana reads Latin from a diary out loud.

The characters begin getting picked off one by one due to moronic decisions they are influenced to make by the company that is controlling their surroundings.  All the intricacies of those movie make me drool.  It's a movie made for someone like me.  It's so cliche that it's original.  The climax of the movie comes when Dana and Marty discover an elevator that leads them down to the lab where everyone is stationed and are introduced to all the badass monsters they could have faced.  It's a very awesome moment when they are all released from their cells and unleash fury on everyone in the building.  Some beautiful and hilarious horror moments occur and I eat up every bit of it.

It's revealed that the reason this is all done is to appease the Gods that still rule over the Earth.  Should the companies performing the sacrifices fail in their missions, the Gods will rise and destroy the world.  Well, they failed and the ending of the movie is pretty simple.  The Gods erupt and a big old hand swipes down on the screen, symbolizing the end of the world as the movie cuts to credits.

This is a movie that I couldn't wait to read more about and own.  The IMDb page is chalk full of trivia and amazing theories from fans.  The Blu-Ray extras are a treat with the director commentary providing clarity on the little parts of the movie as well as behind the scenes docs in the bonus features.  I'm sure to watch this movie quite a bit over the next few years and it will assuredly become an October movie staple for me going forward.

My Rating - 8/10


  1. This is a hell of a fun movie that features twists that got better and better as the film went on. It’s crazy that horror films can be this fun and entertaining just by smart and witty writing. However, it won’t last for too long so we might as well enjoy it while Whedon and Goodard are around. Good review Michael.

  2. Agreed! I had so much fun watching this movie, every moment of it. Thanks for the feedback and for reading.