Posts Tagged ‘cabin in the woods’

Happy Saturday all you lovers of the macabre!

Last week, Emily named some honorable mentions to whet your grisly appetites for our 2012 pick for best horror movie. There were some great picks in there, but we think this one trumps all the others hands down.

The Cabin in the Woods (directed by Drew Goddard) 

Source: IMDB

Source: IMDB

Here are my reasons why this movie reigns supreme for best horror movie of 2012:

It Keeps you Guessing

Released on April 13, 2012 with the tagline, “You think you know the story”, The Cabin in the Woods (written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series) leaves you guessing from the opening scene of the movie.

The movie opens with two lab geeks (Richard Jenkins of Stepbrothers and Bradley Whitford of The West Wing) having a seemingly mundane conversation. I saw this in theaters and remember thinking that I might have walked into the wrong movie theater because these two guys seemed to have nothing at all to do with a scary movie. A few seconds later my confusion was dispelled when the movie title splashed across the screen in large red letters. Okay, I had walked into the right theater after all.

The Cabin in the Woods quickly switches gear, and focuses on the main character, Dana (Kristen Connolly) who is readying herself for a weekend away with four friends at a cabin in the woods. Aussie hottie Chris Hemsworth plays Curt, female Aussie hottie Anna Hutchinson plays Jules, pothead Marty is played by the awesome Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams plays the sweet good guy, Holden.

The five college students head out of town on their backwoods adventure, and that’s when things start getting downright weird. An eagle soars over a canyon, smacks into an invisible electric barrier, and plummets to its death. The two lab geeks make more appearances as the plot unfolds, and you wonder what the heck they have to do with the cabin in the woods. The five friends stop for gas at a rundown shithole of a gas station in the middle of nowhere and are warned of their doom by a creepy, tobacco chewing redneck. They ignore him as young folks always do in horror movies, and head on to their destination. When they arrive at the cabin, that’s when things really start getting weird.

And still you wonder, where is this movie going? Well, I won’t tell you because it’s so bizarre and well-crafted that it will be ruined unless you watch it for yourself. But on to the other reasons this movie is so awesome…

Comedic Element

It can be difficult indeed for a horror movie to successfully straddle the line between scary and comedic but The Cabin in the Woods does just that, and with excellent results. There are many elements of suspense in the movie where you’ll find you’re bracing yourself for something horrific to happen. However, these scary moments are balanced by moments of lightheartedness.

Marty, who reminds me of a human version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, is perfect for the role of the silly, but sage stoner. He may be high, but he also sees things that no one else is picking up on.

In fact, there are several ways in which The Cabin in the Woods reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies, Scream. It’s got the comedy/horror juxtaposition, it pokes fun at some of the horror movie stereotypes as this movie also does, and Marty reminds me quite a bit of Scream‘s Randy.

Source: A.V. Club

Source: A.V. Club

It Offers Something Fresh

The horror movie genre has been pretty well picked over, and there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in recent years. We’re seeing a lot of remakes of old movies and redundant plot lines, and it’s just gotten…stale.

Enter The Cabin in the Woods. I guarantee this plot hasn’t been done before….

Creativity

In my opinion, this might be the most creative horror movie I’ve ever seen. The plot is out there and far-fetched but enjoyable, and in what other movie would you see homicidal unicorns, maniacal clowns, unhinged child ballerinas, redneck zombies, masked murderers, and a merman all in one place? I’ve gotta hand it to The Cabin in the Woods–it seamlessly connects a plethora of unconnected horror genres together into one big masterpiece.

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

293

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

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Source: Dinosaur Dracula

Effects

The movie, shot in Vancouver, Canada, had a budget of $30 million and more than 60 artists worked on the effects before filming even began. The awesome special effects brings all the blood, guts, and fear to life in a tangible way.

Element of the Unexpected

I’m going to be vague so as not to ruin the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, but suffice it to say, the movie breaks a lot of “rules”. No one is “safe” and don’t assume you know how the movie is going to end. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies but this one definitely went in an unexpected direction. And I loved it!

There’s so much more I could say about this movie, but not without giving it away.  If you haven’t seen The Cabin in the Woods, watch it and let us know what you think!  If you have, do you agree or disagree with our pick as best horror movie of 2012? Let us know, we love to hear from you!

R

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Source: The People's Movies

Source: The People’s Movies

Source: Forces of Geek
Source: Forces of Geek

Evil Dead has come a long way since Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic.

The premise is the same: five twenty-somethings travel to a cabin in the woods and unknowingly release an ancient evil. But I’d say that’s about where the similarities stop.

I may offend some people outright by not automatically expressing my allegiance for the original. But in truth, I’d say these two versions are a bit of a toss-up.  There are elements of both that I really enjoyed, and I would say that neither is better than the other. In fact, I think a hybrid of the two would have been best. Here’s what I think horror fans who have seen the original will appreciate versus maybe not appreciate so much.

Evil Dead (2013), Directed by Fede Alvarez

Why you’ll like this one

  • It’s got gore, gore, and more gore. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies and I’d say this is one of the bloodiest, nastiest ones I’ve seen. I think true horror lovers will find it to be a welcome improvement on the original, which had its moments but its special effects certainly couldn’t be called realistic. Alvarez’s rendition, riddled with self-mutilation and oceans of blood, is not for the feint of heart.
  • These demons are pretty freaking scary. Unlike the characters who were possessed in the 1981 classic and were almost comical, these demons are a bit terrifying. They don’t really taunt (except for Mia, on occasion), they attack their targets with a cold, dead persistence, more like a zombie. The suspense factor is elevated in the remake. And on a side note, I have to give props for the casting of Mia. Jane Levy is perfect for this role, which was originally given to Lily Collins. I like Lily and all, but I think casting her in this role would have been a big mistake.
  • There’s a little more to the story line. In the original, the group of friends heads to the cabin for a fun weekend in the woods. In the remake, the motivation for the trip is to rid Mia of her drug habit and support her through her difficult withdrawal. This addition adds to the film.  It gives others reason to doubt Mia’s crazy rants about seeing a girl in the woods and being attacked by trees. They don’t run when they hear this, they simply think the withdrawal is causing her to lose it and she’s looking for any reason to leave.

Why you may not like this one

  • It doesn’t have Bruce Campbell in it. I mean come on– Bruce Campbell is pretty much synonymous with the Evil Dead franchise. It’s hard to envision the movie without him. Shiloh Fernandez, the lead male character in the 2013 version is cute and all, but he doesn’t have the presence that Campbell does. In fact, he’s pretty boring.
  • The “summoning” scene is totally lame. Now, I know this is a matter of opinion, but I think the original did a much better job with the incantation of the demons. The premise of the original is that some friends drive to a remote cabin whose previous owner was a professor, and stumble upon the Necromicon (Book of the Dead) and the professor’s recordings. On the recordings it becomes clear that the professor was working to translate passages from the book, and in speaking the translated words, he unwittingly released total evil. In the remake, Eric, who finds the book, reads the words out loud even though it’s completely obvious that he should not! I think the original definitely gets kudos for creativity, and the remake falls short here.
  • The movie oversells itself. Case in point: the tagline. Here are both below:

             1981 tagline: They got up on the wrongs side of the grave.

             2013 tagline: The most terrifying film you will ever experience.

I don’t think anyone who sees the remake will agree with the preview tagline–this is NOT the most terrifying film you will ever experience. Putting it out there like that so confidently gave me high expectations and I wouldn’t call this movie “scary” at all. Gross? Yes. Suspenseful? Yes. Freaky? Yes. Scary, no.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. Both movies are awesome in their own right and up there on my list of favorites. Which one did YOU prefer? Let us know!

R

Interesting Facts

  • In the 2013 remake, the first letters of the five characters’ names (David, Eric, Mia, Olivia, and Natalie) spell out DEMON.
  • The original budget was an estimated $375,000, while the remake budget was an estimated $17,000,000. Slight difference, huh?