The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The reason we review movies is that we want to share our love of the medium with as many people as possible. We want people to watch and enjoy films. What we do want is to spoil films. There is an unwritten policy for moviescramble regarding spoilers. If we produce an opinion piece and it contains plot elements and spoilers the article’s title will indicate this. For standard reviews we tend to discuss the plot in broad strokes so as to give a flavour of the film without ruining the piece. A general rule of thumb for most reviewers is that if it is in the trailer then it can be commented on. Why, you are probably asking yourself, are we stating this? The reason is simple. We are trying to discuss The Cabin in the Woods.
There are two ways to review Cabin in the Woods. One with no spoilers at all ensuring that the viewing pleasure is not compromised in any way but resulting in a short review, or give away some of the plot and effectively ruin it for anyone who has not seen it. The issue with this film is that you cannot discuss the plot in any depth without giving something away. We are going to choose door number one and encourage you to seek out the film if you have not already done so.

The basic plot of the film is as follows. Five friends travel into the mountains to spend the weekend at the cabin in the woods. Stuff happens. Abridged synopsis, yes, but it is also on the back of the DVD cover as a plot summary so I don’t feel so bad about keeping it that short.

This film is superb. It will easily be in my top ten for the year. It is a very clever, well made film that keeps your interested and engaged from the first frames to the very end. The central performers Kirsten Connolly, Fran Kranz, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins and Chris Hemsworth  are all on top form. I believe this performance from Chris Hemsworth pre-dates his role in Thor and shows that he has the acting chops to handle a lead role without the use of a big hammer, dodgy hair and cod Shakespearian dialogue.
It was the intention of the filmakers to revitalise the horror genre as they felt that the rise of so-called torture porn films had devalued the genre. I was a fan of Cloverfield, written by first time director Drew Goddard. His direction is un-fussy, concentrating on the story telling rather than techniques showing how clever he is.  Couple him with the undoubted genius that is Joss Whedon and you have a surefire winner.

The film is pacey,  frequently  humorous and exciting. It keeps rolling along keeping your attention fully focused for the entire run time. The film never out-stays its welcome. In fact it could be argued that it could have been longer with a more main character development. The visual effects are all well thought out and quite spectacular. A virtual army of special effects artists worked on this film and the hard work is there for you to see.

The film was unfortunately caught up in the same problems the befell Skyfall. The film was shot in April and May  2009 and was finished post production a year after. At that point the major backer, MGM studios, filed for bankruptcy  putting the film into limbo for two years while the aftermath of the collapse of the studio was sorted out. The film was eventually sold on to another company leading to its eventual release in June 2012. It must have been totally frustrating for all involved knowing that they had a film that was so much better than most of the fayre that hits the screens and yet could possibly never see the inside of a multiplex.

This is a film you should see now. Do it, you wont regret it. Highly recommended.

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