Sue and I got to take in a sneak peek of Drew Goddard’s new film Cabin In The Woods last night, with the director in attendance for a post-show Q&A.
And the film entertained!
It takes the genre we know so well, and gives it a whole new life… The tagline on the poster to the left gives you a sense of the tone of the film. And the date on the bottom of the poster isn’t wrong. This kick-ass movie was supposed to be released back in 2010! It’s been languishing in distribution limbo since MGM went under, much like The Hobbit, and the 007 Franchise.
They all eventually got on track, and Lionsgate was wise enough to step in as distributor for the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard penned horror flick.
Though let’s be clear, we spent more time laughing (in a really good way) than we did being scared or horrified, though there are some pretty sweet moments.
And unlike some people out there in the world who seem to want to spoil everyone’s fun, like that soulless waste who tweeted all the reveals to Sue before we even saw the flick, this will be a spoiler-free and consequently, intentionally short review.
Cabin In The Woods is not what you expect, and that’s exactly what it wants to be. The updated poster’s tagline reads “If you think you know the story. Think again.”
It definitely did that, though I leaned over to Sue and told her what I thought it would be about a quarter of the way in, as she happily didn’t share any of the spoilers with me. If you pay attention to the imagery during the opening credits, that part isn’t too hard to figure out – but it’s the how they do it. And it’s a delight!
The film follows five friends for a weekend getaway to a remote cabin in the woods. Sounds familiar? It’s supposed to. It even plays up nearly every horror cliché in the horror genre in the first act, and knows it, giving you little nods to films you know and love.
If you’re intent on seeing this film, do yourself a favor, and don’t even watch the trailer, cause both Sue and I (and apparently Drew as well) feels that it gives away too much of the story.
Just go in and enjoy.
Whedon and Goddard’s writing is top-form, and the laughs come one after the other, playing on scenarios you’ve seen before. That’s part of the enjoyment of the film, because you KNOW certain things are just supposed to happen, and that chances are it’s gonna be bloody (something this film is really not afraid of).
Waiting on the release of the film has kind of paid off for the filmmakers as well, as one of the leads has gone on to some very big things. Namely Chris Hemsworth, who since the film was shot, has gone on to play in Star Trek, and as the titular character in Thor.
But this is an ensemble piece and each of the actors, surprise cameos, and familiar faces pull their weight, and move the story forward.
The less you know going into the film the better, as long as you know it’s five friends (who round out horror film stereotypes – and we find out why) off to a Cabin In The Woods like so many other horror films, and as long as you are familiar with those horror films, YOU are going to have a great time.
Cabin In The Woods opens April 13th (Friday the 13th) nationally. I think I can say fairly confidently that I’ll be seeing this one again.
This is a film best shared with an audience that wants to be entertained, but wants to see something they may not have seen before… That’s what we had, and the screening was filled with clapping, laughter, and collective gasps.
It was a great experience. I hope yours is too.