Saturday, June 23, 2012

The CABIN in the WOODS

The Horror Movie to End all Horror Movies
by Reymundo Salao

Last Wednesday, we watched THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. The very next day; Thursday, we immediately went back to Robinson's cinema and watched it again, dragging friends along who were eager with curiosity. They went out as pleased as we were. Yes, this movie is THAT good; it's something that is almost THE perfect fun horror movie experience. So far this year, there was only one other movie that gave me a knee-jerk reaction of "hey let's watch this movie again" and that movie was THE AVENGERS...whic is actually interesting, because that movie was directed by Joss Whedon. And Joss Whedon is also the writer and the main producer of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, produced under Whedon's production outfit: Mutant Enemy. This certainly is Joss Whedon's year. Its director is Drew Goddard who directed Cloverfield. With Goddard's groundbreaking treatment of suspense plus Joss Whedon's creativity, you can expect something that will indeed be a movie that will get you talking about it.
[read the full review after the jump]

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is one of those movies that actually works best if you walk into it without knowing anything about it. (Of course, it goes without saying that you would have to watch it from the very beginning, and not just simply walk in the middle of the movie). I would even encourage those who are indeed planning to watch it, to avoid watching its trailer, because it kinda spoils the surprises that the movie has in store for you. All you need to know about the movie from its spoiler-free synopsis is that it's about a group of youngsters out on a summer getaway trip to a very distant cabin in the woods, never realizing that a terrifying horror awaits them. Yes, from the outset, it is presented as a typical and cliche horror movie. In fact, it pays homage to typical horror flicks at first, but then it takes it to a higher level and creates this masterpiece. When you are done with the movie, you will also realize that THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is the horror movie to end all horror movies. It actually goes beyond the horror genre; It splits genres and becomes this spectacular controversy. 

This is going to be just like my review on PROMETHEUS, which is sort of a reverse format; meaning, I'll be giving my verdict on the first part and the other latter half of this review will be containing spoiler discussion and details about the movie. My verdict is already obvious; THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a must-see movie, especially if you consider yourself a lover of horror movies. But then, if you are looking for a movie that goes beyond the ordinary storyline, this is also most especially for you.

By the way, it should be noted that this movie was actually shot and completed in 2009 (that's why Chris Hemsworth doesn't look like Thor yet). But it was shelved for a moment because its production company MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) which has been having financial problems for years already, has filed for bankruptcy in 2010. This is also the same reason why production for The Hobbit and the newest James Bond movie Skyfall got delayed. July 2011 Lionsgate Films acquired distribution rights for the film and finally released it this year. [from this point on, it's SPOILER territory]

What's most interesting about the movie is that it throws in homages and references from previous horror classics. An almost countless number of homages. You have something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre there, you have something from Hellraiser, Silent Hill, The Ring, Stephen King's It, Bats, Anaconda, and a number of many other things that you could sit and jot down enumerating them right after you watch the movie. Even the literal cabin in the woods itself is the cabin used in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies. The movie is oozingly dense with all these horror tidbits....actually, we are seriously planning on buying the book which serves as the visual companion for the movie. One that will explain the various nightmare creatures in the movie and how the dynamics and technology of the cabin work. 

The movie is not merely a horror movie; but it has various comedy and sci-fi elements. When you take a step back and look at the film from a different angle, the film is also a tale about ethical conflicts. Does the suffering of a few worth in exchange for the doom of the great many? It is that kind of movie that makes you think about it and incites the desire to discuss it right after you're done watching it. One critic even calls it "the thinking man's horror movie" while in my favorite website, one of their critics cites that it is a "game-changer; you will never watch another horror movie the same way after this". For me, it will surely be one movie that is already a classic. Don't miss it. 

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