The Cabin in the Woods
Review #2 (Spoilers)
By Ken Parker
You really should not read this review unless you have already seen the film or have decided that you will never ever see this stupid horror film that looks like every other horror film. I will try to not ruin the story that much in this review.
A group of college age kids go to a cabin out in the woods. They went there to have some fun, have sex, get high and so on but the cabin has something else planned for them. In the flavor of Evil Dead, something is unleashed that threatens them all.
Pretty standard horror formula, right? Sure. As a matter a fact you will see so many of the usual horror elements in this film. We have the usual cast of characters including the druggie, the blonde bimbo, the virgin, the jock and the brain. The basement is full of old items and once they start messing with those, all hell breaks loose. When things get creepy the group splits up to cover more ground. Let the screaming begin.
As you may know, this film is not a horror film although it takes the genre of horror films and twists it on its side in a massively clever way. What writer Joss Whedon has done in this movie is given you what you expect in a horror film but places scenes that appear to be from another film. We see a high tech base being operating by a group of people who casually go about their business. They are monitoring the events up in the cabin and are manipulating the kids so that they act like they are supposed to in a horror setting. It would appear that this secret base is doing all this for some reason. One by ones the kids are scared out of their minds and killed by a family of zombies.
This tongue and cheek plan is being copied all around the world where we see a group of Japanese children being haunted by a long haired ghost in the same vein as The Ring. As the viewer you are trying to put all these images together in your head. Why were there so many artifacts in the basement and what was the group of workers betting on? Who is the director and why is it so important to put these kids through this manipulation?
You can come up with your theories and slowly the answer will unfold in front of you. You will not see the ending coming on so many levels. Trying to figure out what the workers are up to will keep you preoccupied for most of the movie but once the answer is there, the movie continues to shock and stun until the final shot.
I feel this movie won't do well because joe public will think it is just another cliché riddled movie. Actually the cliches are even more than any other horror movie, important. I feel that if you love horror movies – you will love it. If you hate horror movies because of the usual trappings and predictability – go see this – you will love it.
The theater wasn't crowded but many people clapped at the end. The only people who did not get into the movie were the two idiots who showed up 20 minutes after the movie started and talked through the next 20 minutes and then left. I am sure they were not even aware that something more was going on. Unlike most horror films you probably want to pay close attention to this in a vain hope of figuring out what is going on.
Oh, and the final word – this is not a horror film or at least not a typical horror film.
Best movie of the year so far.