Edition 3: Film Review: The Cabin In The Woods
Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston
Cabin in the Woods, an offering by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, is not your regular teen slasher film. Don’t worry—it contains all the blood and gore you’re looking for, but its plot is not what you would expect.
It begins as many of these movies do; 5 college kids on a road trip heading off into the woods to get away. It is replete with crazy hicks, organisational conspiracy and a whole lot of supernatural voodoo.
There’s a few stereotypes; we’ve got the jock, bimbo, brains and weed-addled kid. But this is where the stereotypical ends. You think you know the story, and Goddard and Whedon make sure they throw another turn in. But you will cringe and laugh, all within minutes of each other.
Each of the actors puts on a stellar performance. Just enough depth for a movie where their only option is to be killed, and enough to create likeable character, without distracting from the horror. There is an interesting social commentary in the way those who are working in the unnamed organisation respond to the situation the college kids are put into. Some exceptional lines are thrown into the action, which there is plenty of. It is completely unexpected to be laughing out loud, at the intention of the writers and directors, in the middle of a horror movie but it fits so seamlessly in the scene that it just works.
There were a few special effects, but it could have used some more, given the supernatural theme. Sometimes the jokes at the stereotypical nature of slasher films were a bit prevalent. The weed-addled character could have used further character development, but perhaps it didn’t fit with the final edits.
Drew Goddard is a veteran writer and producer of shows Alias, Cloverfield and Lost, but this is his directing debut. He has worked with Joss Whedon on Buffy and Angel, and it is evident that they are creatively in sync.
For fans of everything Whedonesque (which I will confess that I am), I can recommend this film. It has his typical plot-driven style with great lines teamed with slasher sequences. Just don’t go in thinking you will get plotless gore; be prepared for a film that is a little different and you will not be disappointed. It has a limited release, but the DVD is due out 18 September in case you miss it. The official site can be found at http://discoverthecabininthewoods.com/.
The Cabin In The Wood, 2012
Director: Drew Goddard
Producer: Josh Whedon
Studio: Mutant Enemy Productions
Distributed By: Lionsgate Entertainment Inc
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford
Sophie is a scientist, aspiring writer, sci-fi and fantasy nerd. She is an editor with IFWG Publishing and has been Editor In Chief of SQ Mag and SQ Magazine, the previous incarnation. She also contributes book and film reviews. She is currently living in Vancouver, Canada.
You can find her in a few different places: @Smoph on Twitter, Sophie Yorkston – writer on Facebook, and at her blogs: Smoph’s Musings and Smoph Writes.