DVD Review: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

alt

Review: The Cabin in the Woods / Cert: 15/ Director: Drew Goddard / Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard / Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connelly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker / Release Date: Out Now

The acid test for The Cabin in the Woods was probably always going to be how - or even if - it stands up to repeated viewing once you’re in on the joke and the film’s surprises are out in the open. But don’t worry, we won’t be blowing the gaffe here; despite its critical reception The Cabin in the Woods wasn’t huge at the Box Office but it’s likely to be a big draw on DVD and Blu-ray this Autumn so its secret remains safe with us for now.

The Cabin in the Woods is, pure and simple, a love letter to a very familiar horror genre - the clue’s in the title. It’s not, however, poking fun at the traditions of hundreds of movies where stupid American jocks go on a weekend break to some middle-of-nowhere Hellhole where there’s no phone signal. Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard’s clever, knowing script just recognises all those clichés - they’re fans of the genre, after all, and they’re here to celebrate it not denigrate it - and happily plays on our familiarity with all these tropes before turning the entire thing on its head. In fact we’re probably in on the game from the very beginning because it’s quite clear from right in the middle of the title sequence that we’re in for something a bit different here.

And The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t disappoint. As soon as the checklist of college types - jock, stoner, nervy bloke, coy girl, foxy chick - set off for their weekend and are warned off by a gum-chewing local we appear to be on very familiar territory indeed. Installed in their spooky holiday home the group stumble upon the diary of a previous occupant of the cabin who suffered terrible family abuse and before long they’ve inadvertently resurrected a family of zombies buried out in the woods. So far so ‘seen all this before’ but of course it’s the consequent twists and revelations that send the film off into wildly different areas in a story that attempts to offer an explanation as to exactly why kids have behaved like this in horror movies since Hollywood immemorial whilst doffing its cap towards practically every other modern horror film ever made.

And that’s as far as we go. If you’ve seen The Cabin in the Woods you’ll know the wonderfully warped change of direction the film takes and we’re happy to report that this is, as we might have suspected from an auteur like Joss Whedon, a film that keeps on giving with every viewing. Horror buffs won’t be disappointed (although some hardcore fans might not get the joke and find it too flippant), creature fans will be delighted; this is a smart, clever, often hysterically funny movie which doesn’t miss a beat and reminds us that horror doesn’t have to be horrid and that it's good to have some fun along with your fear. Brilliant.

Extras: Sparkling Goddard/Whedon commentary, decent 'Making Of’, Whedon set tour, Wondercon stage Q&A and more.

alt


Suggested Articles:
Fabulous Films is giving cult ‘80s television the treatment it deserves. Having already restored t
In The Perfect Insider a programming genius is murdered in a locked room in her research base. Visit
Jamil Dehlavi’s Jinnah documents the trials and tribulations of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man
With a tagline reading ‘Lies eventually catch up’, Malcolm Deegan’s sole feature outing as wri
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

MAGNUM P.I. - THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 07 December 2016

THE PERFECT INSIDER - COMPLETE SEASON COLLECTION 03 December 2016

JINNAH (1998) 02 December 2016

FRACTIONAL 02 December 2016

THE HIRED HAND (1971) 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 4 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 3 02 December 2016

STAR TREK: THE RODDENBERRY VAULT 02 December 2016

GHOST IN THE NOONDAY SUN 29 November 2016

AKIRA: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION 29 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
...
 
 
...
 
 
 
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144