Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

A group of five co-eds pack the camper and head for a weeked respite at a remote cabin in the hilly woods. After encountering the usual abandoned gas station creep en route to their stay, and uncovering a few expected ghoulish elements, it seems that all is set for a standard "isolated teenager massacre." However, something more subversive and sinister is looming below the surface, as members of some sort of corporation watch the entire ordeal, wager on the methods of attack, and manipulate the teens surroundings. "The Cabin in the Woods" is another self-aware horror film, this one from director Drew Stoddard and his cowriter Joss Whedon. Stoddard and Whedon attempt to mesh two different tones in making the film, the horror one involving the camping teens and the humorous bordering on parody one involving the controllers in the corporate office. This blending of styles does not mesh well, and serves as counterproductive to all attempted. I did enjoy the cast. The teens, especially Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Connolly, are engaging, and it the tower, Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins provide comic relief. Without giving anything away, the movie mostly serves as an excuse to arrive at a scene of orgiastic violence, which is impressive in itself but cannot justify an entire movie. I must say though, that I was impressed that the movie did not take the easy way out in the end (though I could of done without the cameo). I think that horror movies (and comedies as well) are subjective experiences, and probably immune to criticism. Many are praising this film for its creativity and for what it does with this staid set-up, but I still found it lacking. Being billed as a horror movie, I also found it to be misleading, as what is promised is not what it is provided. Despite some high ambitions and a few creative ideas, "The Cabin in the Woods" is still another entry in an underperforming genre that leaves much to be desired.