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Cabin In The Woods

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They say familiarity breeds contempt. Well that would be what one would expect from the trailers for The Cabin In The Woods, the new film from producer Joss Whedon, he of Buffy fame or infamy depending on your view on hot vampire slayers. The trailer offers up that distinct feeling of “Great, here we go again, bunch of attractive young people head into the woods… blah…. Blah……. Killer, stabby stabby.” And yes, this is true, but this is also where the sheer joy and fun of this film enters into the fray. It is all those things but the film treats the familiar aspects of the genre with tender love, affection and its tongue wedged in its bloodied cheek.

I don’t want to give the plot away, but five friends head to an abandoned cabin for a holiday. Unbeknownst to these attractive people (most notably Thor and Avery from Grey’s Anatomy) their movements and subsequent fates are being controlled from high above or down below ground in a shiny, steel office which wouldn’t look out of place in Dr. No’s volcano. They are constantly monitored and are dealt with by the flick of a switch or the push of a button.

This is where the fun begins. All of the deaths are extremely fun to watch. There is the perfect amount of blood matched with well-timed scares and suitable pre murder tension. You know you’re going to see all of these people die, but you don’t feel short changed as it has been done before. You feel exhilarated and I found myself laughing out loud and cheering, actually pumping my fist in the air saying, “Holy s***, that was awesome” after one particular death.

The script is knowing without disappearing up its own arse and delivers many belly laughs. A standout scene is when the blonde one makes out with a stuffed wolf. Funnier than it sounds, trust me. The cast do a stellar job with their respective roles. You know the ones, Jock, Slut, Stoner, Clever male, clever female. And again not to give the plot away, but these characteristics are not apparent on first meeting the five young people, again playing with the expectations of the genre.

Before I go I have to mention the opening. There are shots of human sacrifice, effigies on walls and it cuts to a black screen with the title of the film in blood red block capitals. Instant flashes of 70’s slasher films came to mind and I smiled, maintaining that smile throughout the film. It sets itself up from the outset. And there are vast movie references littered throughout the film, my favourite being the obvious Evil Dead nod and the less obvious Hellraiser nod.

I can highly recommend this film. It does exactly what it says on the tin. And for once a slasher film, a genre that has long since been lazy and almost old-fashioned, this is not a bad thing





Written by thepanch

May 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm

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