Actors: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, & Bradley Whitford
Synopsis: A group of five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the far reaches of a wooded wilderness for a vacation. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
Thanks to the success of films like Saw and Hostel, the horror genre has been dominated by countless amounts of cheap clones. “Torture porn” as it has been dubbed, has de-evolved the genre. Even remakes of classic films appeared to serve only to beef up the gore and slacked on the writing. The American horror movie, that was intended to scare the audience, had now put all its focus on grossing them out. It seems that it has become more of a rare occurrence that a film comes along that seems to get it right.
Enter: The Cabin In The Woods
Anyone that knows me, knows that I make no secret about my feelings for horror films, specifically the 80’s. For me, that decade was the genre’s heyday. This ten year span was responsible for some of the greatest franchises in horror history. Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St, and my absolute favorite, The Evil Dead were all released in this time frame. After seeing The Cabin In The Woods, it’s quite obvious that Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon share in my feelings.
It’s hard for me to divulge too much into the plot of the film because I feel that the advertisers already ruined some very key components of the plot in the trailers. So rather than spoil the film even more, I’ll say this much about it. The film definitely borrows the same basic concept from the Evil Dead. Five friends head up to a cabin located in a remote part of nearby woods. What starts out as a weekend of relaxation, fun, and debauchery, quickly turns into an ultimate nightmare. I’ll stop there as to not spoil the surprises even though the film itself kind of gives itself away almost immediately.
It took awhile to sink in, but I feel this film was created to serve as a blueprint for future horror films to come. It did pretty much everything right. Although it wasn’t a straight horror, which I’d prefer, it showed perfectly how to blend in the comedy elements. I stated last night on my Facebook “if you like Evil Dead 2, go see The Cabin In The Woods” and I stand by it. Evil Dead 2, in my opinion, is the absolute pinnacle of horror-comedy. Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert were able to create such heightened states of tension and then immediately slap you in the face with something insanely funny, then go right back to scaring the bejebus out of you. They were able to go over the top, yet still keep everything within reason. Now it’s not exactly on that same level, but I feel that this film achieved the same effect. Both films, as with a lot of horror from nearly 30 years ago, were able to introduce characters that you ultimately felt for. Even the “whore” of the bunch garnered some level of sympathy instead of just being fodder for the bodycount.
This film comes highly recommended and I’m very much pulling for its success. If this film does exceptionally well during it’s release, or atleast becomes a cult hit once on DVD, there is a good chance that the horror movie could return with force. Obviously this film can’t carry the weight of the genre on its shoulders but I feel this is a good starting point for a revival. Fans of the classics will definitely appreciate it as there are tons of homages to the greats, especially Evil Dead. Hopefully the new audience comes on board and we start to get some fresh ideas again.