Usually when a film gets shelved for an extended period of time after its completion, it’s not a good sign. More often than not, upon seeing the end result, you can understand why a studio may balk at the idea of releasing the substandard fare that their directors/writers have shat out. Sometimes the elements just don’t come together, even with the best of intentions and preparations. However, The Cabin in the Woods is NOT one of these. This very cool (and imaginative) horror ‘addition’/homage to the ‘good looking young people in woods set upon by monster, spirit, serial killer etc’ genre is surprisingly entertaining, particularly if you’re a fan of films like The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th etc. For those who don’t know the story, we have our typical cadre of good-looking young people striking out in an RV to spend a weekend of debauchery at a family cabin WAY the fuck out in the woods. Upon arrival, one of the morons insists on reading a passage of creepy Latin (just DON’T read creepy Latin, people…it never ends well.) from an old diary they find…and, surprise surprise, all hell breaks loose. At least, at a glance, that’s all there is to TCITW. There are actually 2 stories at play here. The terror in the cabin, and the strange surveillance team that is monitoring their EVERY move, for interesting reasons that I won’t spoil here. This flick takes some of the conventions of the genre and is clever enough to turn them of their head, almost as if to NOT talk down to the audience. Pfft! The nerve! The characters who you immediately peg as the Jock, the Bimbo, The Virgin and The Stoner are all revealed to, in fact, conform to those stereotypes while bringing a sweet level of uncharacteristic depth to the cliches’s. Take, for instance, The Jock…while it’s revealed in his ‘entrance’ that he’s a ‘football guy’, they also just as quickly point out that he’s a Sociology Major with a brain in his head. And since when is The Stoner the most observant and sensible of ALL of them, in movies like this? Pretty much…NEVER. Going back to the Horror Movie Standards at work here, respect has to be given to the flicks make-up department. There is some cool work on display here that really helped punch up some of the inventive kills (love the leg trap mourning star!). And there’s a TOTALLY appropriate genre cameo that comes out of Nowhere to help this movies very deserving street cred. All in all, I quite enjoyed The Cabin in the Woods and would easily recommend it to fans of the Horror Genre.
PS-Don’t read the creepy Latin!!!