November 5, 2012

WTF Movie of the Week: The Cabin in the Woods!

"There's zombies and there's Pain-Worshipping Zombie
Red Neck Torture Family. They're two very different things."

Okay, so I'm a busy man. Or maybe I've just been lazy lately. But last night I finally got to see what the rest already discovered ages ago: The Cabin in the Woods is a surprisingly good movie. And I say 'surprisingly good movie' because I think it's too early to use 'effing modern classic'.

Expecting to see some teenagers get slaughtered in a ...yes... cabin in the woods, I settled myself in front of the TV only to find the movie opened with a couple of middle-aged button-down office clerks (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) talking about their private lifes. Flashes from Severance came to mind, but that was all quickly disspelled when the teenagers actually showed up and they actually went on a weekend retreat to a ...yes... cabin in the woods.
They quickly meet the odd stranger telling them the cabin isn't safe... blablabla... but they go anyway. In the cabin they find a strange book with words in Latin that they read out loud and ...wait for it... the undead rise... Since you're here on a horror blog I guess you can fill in the rest of the movie.

BUT... snap back to the two office clerks who take bets over which of the evil monsters the teenagers are actually going to conjure up, who seem to orchestrate the whole damn mess and who pull mysterious levers when one of the teenagers die. So, there should be something more to this movie than meets the eye, right?

Right! The movie ends about half an hour early when the last of the teenagers supposedly dies and the office clerks open up a batch of brewski's and champagne. All is well. But wait, the mysterious red phone rings and one of the office clerks feels the blood drain from his face (one of Bradley Whitford's finest moments). And then all hell breaks loose. Literally!

Trying not to give away too much: the rest of the movie I watched with open mouth!

Everything about this movie is just right. The tension and suspense in the Cabin holds a candle to Halloween, the deaths of the teenagers are done in gory, 80's-style, the humour is on a par with Scream (remember that one?) and some of the most beloved characters in the horror genre make their appearance including a very ominous version of Pinhead holding not a cube, but a puzzle sphere.

The movie's most lovable character has a huge roll, which is a joy to watch (Donnie Darko's Fran Kranz) and the office clerks are well over-acted, especially Bradley Whitford who keeps complaining he would've liked to have seen the kids killed by a Merman.

For once I DID NOT get the feeling the writers dug themselves in a hole of which they couldn't dig themselves out anymore, as so often is the case with these type of movies. You can clearly see the writers had a clear vision and goal as to where they wanted this movie to go and they had a lot of fun making it. And it shows!

A solid movie. Don't be surprised to find this on the classic list one day.

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