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quietearth [Film Festival 04.09.12] horror thriller

Year: 2012
Directors: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 8 out of 10

Horror-comedy can be a tricky genre to get right, but Cabin in the Woods just manages to straddle the line between funny and genuinely creepy pretty much throughout, mostly thanks to the inventive writing and playing around of genre conventions from screenwriters Joss 'Firefly' Whedon and Drew 'Cloverfield' Goddard. I really enjoyed it and actually felt it was a near perfect example of how to play the game and keep the audience hooked for 90 minutes of fun and blood and guts.

**spoiler warning***

The old staple of horror films - a group of randy teenagers - travel to that other cliche, a run down old cabin in the woods, complete with a surley gas station attendant who offers spooky warnings and grim tidings. Meanwhile (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn''t seen the trailer, but this is obvious from the first frame of the film so not really) a high tech government organization have sealed off the area with an invisible forcefield and are monitoring every move of our gang with hidden cameras and microphones, and indeed setting off pheramones in order to sex things up a bit, although we're not sure why. The officials are an immature bunch and take bets on what will happen as it becomes clear that every major country around the world are all doing the same thing (naturally with their own variation on the scenario - the Japanese one is a hoot). After a game of truth or dare the kids stumble into the (fruit) celler and find a bunch of expensive looking junk which they begin to tinker around with and things get very animated at HQ as the technicians eagerly anticipate what will happen next.

Well, the film wouldn't be any good if nothing happened and they all had an early night, so suffice to say all hell breaks loose and the plot takes off, further explaining what's really going on and why the kids have been lured into this bizarre supernatural set-up. Things move quickly and the body count piles up before we're left with only key cast members who find themselves increasingly desperate in the scramble for surivial in the face of almost certain death, either from the gouls attacking their little cabin, or the government who've put them there. In the last act the film becomes very chaotic and Whedon and Goddard pretty much throw everything they can at us, in the best way possible I should say.

*** end spoilers ***

The audience I saw this with enjoyed the humour and laughed thoughout the film which is really key to its success. The film is pretty much without any seriously disturbing scares but rather it makes you want to jump in your seat and then laugh at yourself for doing so. The only negative criticism I can think of is that it's not a scary film in the same way as the films it's lampooning (Evil Dead 1 & 2, etc) which I at least find unsettling, but it's a safer and more Friday Night With Friends type film. This doesn't stop it from being highly enjoyable though and thoughraly recommendable too.

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agentorange (8 years ago) Reply

This is nearly a perfect film. 9/10 from me for sure. I found it both funny and full of scares. Loved it.


. (8 years ago) Reply

I believe the trailer spoiled a lot of the film. But I still wanna see it.

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