Sunday, April 22, 2012

Phil sees THE CABIN IN THE WOODS at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-April 15, 2012

Now in case you forgot, I LOVE horror films! So far 2012 hasn't seen that many great horror films released to theaters. So far THE WOMEN IN BLACK is the only good film to come out of the horror genre thus far. However, I finally saw a horror film that is truly original. It takes a tried and true formula and completely turns it upside down. So if you haven't seen THE CABIN IN THE WOODS yet, then you're missing out on one helluva movie!

So the basic formula is established right away in the film. Five stereotypical college students — good girl virgin Dana (Kristen Connolly), jock star Curt (Chris Hemsworth), the whore Jules (Anna Hutchison), stoner Marty (Fran Kranz), and the smart student Holden (Jesse Williams) — drive out for a vacation to a remote cabin in the woods (the cabin itself is a homage to the cabin found in THE EVIL DEAD). However that's were the formula changes and the film does a complete 180 degrees. We are then introduced to two technicians in a science industrial facility: Richard Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford). They are getting ready for an unknown operation, one of several that is taking place all around the world simultaneously. When the students enter the basement, they discover a number of artifacts that will unleash a wave a terror the likes they were never expecting, but the technicians were. But why?

Joss Whedon is simply a genius and has made a career breaking genre rules and making them up as he goes along. He did it with both the film and television series of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, as well as with ANGEL, FIREFLY, and DOLLHOUSE. The man can take any genre and break the confines of its basic structure and rebuild it to his own likings. As both writer and producer of the film, he is in complete control and it shows not only that he's a talented individual, but also as a force to be reckon with. Drew Goddard made a big splash in 2008 with writing the film CLOVERFIELD for producer J.J. Abrams. With this film, he not only co-wrote the script with Whedon, but it also marks his directorial debut. Needless to say, Goddard knocked it out of the park! It's faced paced, has smart and funny dialogue, and contains enough scares, gore, and bloodshed to make horror fans around the world very, very happy and shout out with glee.

Also worth noting is the perfect casting for the film. All the actors have great on-screen chemistry. Watching these five characters reminded me of the gang from SCOOBY DOO. It's a crime that Kranz wasn't cast in the role of Shaggy because his performance of burnout stoner Marty was dead on perfection. Seeing the sexy Hutchison bare her body indicated that she's all grown up and has come a looooong way since portraying Lily Chilman aka the Yellow Cheetah Ranger from the POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY television show from 2008. Of course if you loved her in that show as a young child, then you're gonna be fantasizing about her now as a horny teenager. Hemsworth had a small role in J.J. Abram's STAR TREK reboot, portraying Kirk's father. Then he became a household name thanks to his portrayal of the God of Thunder himself in last year's THOR. Here he really shows off his acting chops and proves he can be both funny and intense. And last but not least, Connolly has some big shoes to fill. After all, as the female lead in a horror film, she is now in a league with other strong women such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver (who has a cameo in the film), Danielle Harris, and she pulls it off perfectly! Can't wait to see where she goes from here.

When it's all said and done, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is one of THE BEST horror films I have seen in a while! Goddard and Whedon have created a modern day horror classic that ranks up there with other contemporary films such as THE DEAD, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, and DRAG ME TO HELL. So if you're looking for the perfect Friday night fright film, then you need to see this film! Five out of five stars! Highly recommended!

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. We don't have the luxury of getting this film for another month. By then, the interest in it would have subsided.

    Glad you enjoyed it though and more importantly, thank you for the amazing review.