REVIEW: The Cabin In The Woods

The Cabin In The Woods begins identically similar to horror hits The Evil Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre as it follows a group of youngsters taking a road trip where danger beyond their wildest dreams await them. Plus, like those films, the title “The Cabin In The Woods” had become an immediate attention span seeing as not just for a horror film but in general, it is not safe to go to a cabin in the woods, really, is it? On the other hand, there was what one could call a subplot featuring technicians with their highly advanced technology who happen to be watching the group in that cabin. This is where The Cabin In The Woods was in connection with another film – Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. Nevertheless, Drew Goddard and co successfully managed to swerve round a very unorthodox combination and make a fun, well-acted horror hit.

Like all horror films, The Cabin In The Woods attempts to deliberately scare the viewers to the point where they feel emotionally terrorised, but there is no denying that it takes quite a number of aspects from particularly Sam Raimi’s previous work with the genre. For example, the over-use of violence and gore had that comical, unrealistic and perhaps humorous touch. On occasions, the humour took over completely and, therefore, the suspense and terror lost its grasp. Intentional horror-comedies are able to balance the two genres, but in the case of The Cabin In The Woods, it was more or less split in half and then separated with one half coming across as scary and the other as funny. The separation between the genres was literally like the film itself. It actually consisted of two plots (the cabin in the woods and inside an unknown facility) but the film cannot entirely tell which one was more important that they wanted the audience to focus on.

Almost every time that we see a horror or a comedy with youngsters portraying the primary characters, we are introduced to some new talents. After previously appeared as more or less an extra in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening back in 2008, Kristen Connolly took the leading role in The Cabin In The Woods as she portrayed the young, beautiful and sensitive Dana. Female characters are often the main protagonists in horror films because it makes the film even scarier as it penetrates that sense of innocence and beauty. In the past, we’ve seen from the likes of Sissy Spacek, Mia Farrow and Jamie Lee Curtis deliver some of the most innocent but mesmerising performances within a horror film. Kristen Connolly does not even come close to said actresses in their roles, but Connolly does express the fright and vulnerability of Dana as a terrorised victim rather well. Therefore, it is an impressive start to her acting career.

In addition to Dana within the group, we are introduced to more youngsters. First, Chris Hemsworth’s role as hunk Curt was a sell-out move from the word ‘go’ after he previously took on the role of Thor and went on to reprise that role in The Avengers a few months later. Still, we see him in a much more natural role but he is still remained as that hero. Yet, he still had that typical rebellious and mischievous side to him like young people do today. Anna Hutchison gave a good performance as did Jesse Williams and Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford provide such strong chemistry together who each add a sense of humour and psychopathic touch to their roles as technicians Richard Sitterson and Steven Hadley. Finally, Sigourney Weaver makes her presence known in a vital role too.

Overall, The Cabin In The Woods may have taken a few pieces from other sources but still remained a delightful treat for viewers to sit down and enjoy for 90 minutes. You may notice its connections but Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard still craft together a new original horror story of their own which is scary and fun to watch. Goddard’s directorial debut went off to a good start and Whedon’s story ideas and script techniques improved even further leading to The Avengers.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 31/08/2012.

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