Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Cabin Full of Surprises

I’ve been meaning to watch ‘Cabin in the Woods’ since it came out.  I like horror and I like Joss Whedon so it made perfect sense to watch it right?  Then everyone I know that’s seen it and every review I see online begins to not only praise the film but rave about it.

Now, most people would see that as something that would spur them on to watch it, but as many of the people who know me will attest it’s the kind of thing that drives me away from stuff.  I’ve had experiences where films that have been so hyped up that by the time I finally get round to seeing it they nowhere live up to it.  I mean, it took me twelve years to finally watch ‘Donnie Darko’ because of this kind of thing!

As such ‘Cabin in the Woods’ in the woods had been out for well over a year and my friends were continually asking me why I hadn’t yet seen it.  Well, one of my friends had had enough and gave me the DVD in an attempt to drive me into watching it.  A few days later and I’m looking for something to watch of an evening and I see the DVD sitting their and I think ‘oh sod it what the hell’ and pick it up.

Our group of heroes ready to be picked off one at a time.
Now I knew going into it that their was going to be something special about the film, that it was more than what the title suggested and was going to be more than the average teenagers in the woods kind of film.  None of that knowledge, however, could have prepared me for what I was about to see.

Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard essentially create a love letter to classic horror  films.  It follows the standard formula and set up, but in its own special way that points out the silliness of these character and situational stereotypes without being disrespectful to them.   The film also throws so many different types of monsters and creatures at the audience that there’s something in their for everyone but manages to balance it well that the end doesn’t feel like the cluster fuck that it could have so easily have become.

The plot is amazing.  Its well written and unfolds in such a way that there’s always something more to learn right up until the very end, and by the time the film does end you’ll find yourself wishing their could have been loads more.  The film feels like the start of something big, like the tip of the iceberg teasing us at what else their could be.  there is so much sense of mystery, grandeur and history here that this could very easily have been the first film in a new horror franchise.  But luckily its not.

A film not afraid to tread new ground and be daring.
And I say luckily because whilst I would have loved to have seen more the film stands out so much more for  being a one off.  If you want more  out of  it you’ll watch it again and again and its one of those films where you get more from it on subsequent viewings.

I literally cannot find fault with this film.  I enjoyed it that much that less than twenty four hours after watching it I had my own copy on blurry!  We need more films like this.  Films that subvert expectations, that aren’t scared to do their own thing and challenge the norm and just play it safe.  A lot of film makers can learn a lesson from ‘Cabin in the Woods’ of how to make a film that I’m sure will stand out for years to come.


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