Friday, October 26, 2018

Halloween Day By Day: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)


I'm heading out for vacation today (don't worry I've got a bunch of stuff scheduled to auto-publish as part of #HalloweenDayByDay!), so I figured I would watch and review the 2012 film, "The Cabin in the Woods".

A group of college friends go to an isolated cabin for the weekend.  But it's not your garden variety cabin.  There's something sinister under it.  Something sinister that is the only thing standing between them... and a greater threat.

I was actually a little hesitant to watch this film for awhile, as I suspected it would be a mere copy of "The Evil Dead", or "Cabin Fever".  But in the end, I'm glad I did- and I was pleasantly surprised.

The concept- on the surface, is pretty simple and basic... but it's the parallel story going on that takes this concept, and makes it unique.  The way the two stories thread together and combine make you wonder what's going on- keeping you actively engaged and wanting to find out more.  Just a rare example of phenomenal, smart storytelling in a genre that relies so heavily on tropes and clich├ęs to breathe life into it's offerings.  I ended up with a feeling of satisfaction by the end of it.

The characters were great as well.  They provided an excellent platform in which to explore the archetypes within the horror genre.  They are all likable- unlike so many characters in recent years.  I wound up actually feeling regret when each of them got picked off.  I wanted them to win and survive- which, I admit has been rare lately... something that made me wonder if I was becoming jaded and cynical.  The fact I came to care about these characters helped to reaffirm that there is a problem in the genre in regards to how many of the characters used are just actually terrible people.

I wanna give props to the cast of this movie.  Each and every single one of them were great.  I could go on and on about each and every single one of the performers, since they all deserve praise for the way they portrayed both the characters- and the archetypes those characters were meant to represent, while subverting them at the same time.  They brought charm, humour, and humanity to their roles.  Even the antagonists were enjoyable to watch.  Bravo and kudos to one and all.  They made this movie a pleasure to watch.

Part of the excellence of this movie came from the camera work.  It used the same general techniques used in standard horror movies, while also bringing something new to the visual part of the storytelling.  The framing of shots, movement of the camera, and the editing of scenes created a great pace, and brought a nice dynamic and energy to the whole thing.

As you can imagine by this point, "The Cabin in the Woods" is a movie that I highly recommend.  Not only would I watch it again- I'm tempted to buy a 4K capable TV so I could.  Watch it.  Buy it.  Re-watch it.  It goes without saying that this one takes a place in "The Good".

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