- Classification: MA15+
- Written and directed by Drew Goddard
- Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchinson & Bradley Whitford
- Runtime 95 minutes
SOME of us find horror films highly amusing. In the case The Cabin the Woods, this satirical horror movie which sets to send up all the horror movies ever made, is different. Imagine the Truman Show with blood, guts and participants being killed, it’s outrageously entertaining and very funny, sometimes with surprising level of depth. Include the underlying theme of The Hunger Games, about teenagers and you have a horror movie like no other.
Written by Joss Whendon (The Avengers; Toy Story; TV’s Dollhouse; Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield; TV’s Lost; Lost) who also directed, this film takes the horror movie genre and turns it on it’s head, upside down and inside out., With all the accoutrements of a horror movie, the aggressive weirdo at the petrol station, the darkened cottage deep in the woods, The cellar of the cottage full of horror memorabilia, dolls, music boxes and bodies rising up out of graves in the garden. What’s going on here, bodies don’t rise up out of their graves on the own accord?
Five friend, Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchinson), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Holden (Jesse Williams) leave the city in and a motor-home for a weekend holiday in cottage by a lake. Pulling into a petrol station they run into surely country hick who suggests, they are in for trouble.
Ignoring his warning they arrive at the cottage in the woods, it looks foreboding and in need of repair, but it offers a nearby lake for swimming in. Selecting a room some of them find there are one way mirrors in some of the rooms, hidden by paintings of horrific scenes of butchering animals. By evening the five have settled in and are playing a game of truth or dare, and that’s when things get nasty. Unknown to them they are being watched on screens by two men, Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford) from a secure bunker full of technology. They’re also taking bets from their colleagues on who of the five will the first to who will do something stupid, but the game is rigged, between them Sitterson and Hadley can control what happens at the cottage, both inside and outside. First to do something stupid is Jules who is a bit of a slut.
The aim of the game is (as in The Hunger Games), survival. When bodies spring up out of graves, the ghost of a little girl runs amuck, fleeing the scene in the motor-home becomes impossible when a cavern in the road opens up. As the death toll rises, Marty discovers wires leading to the observation screens and other devises, and things for him and Dana take a turn for the better. Maybe they will have a chance of survival when things turn against the watchers, and the control system implodes.
The Cabin in the Woods is in cinemas June 14
The Movie Hound’s Picks
- Take This Waltz [MA15+] (Three and a Half Stars – in cinemas June 14)
On a trip away from home Margot (Michelle Williams), an unsure of herself 28-year-old young woman meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) an artist, on the plane home. Daniel is charismatic and interesting, and she falls in love with him carefully. Margot is happily married to Lou (Seth Rogen) a chef who’s writing a book on the many ways of cooking chicken. Although she loves her husband, she finds Daniel pulling at her heart strings, the more often they meet. Daniel lives across the street from Margot and Lou, and earns some money giving rickshaw rides in the city. Bored by Lou’s obsession for cooking chicken, she final leaves him and moves in with Daniel. Written and directed by Sarah Polley (Away From Her), this tender and humorous story about loving two men at once, and the differences they offer a woman, while frankly open, erotic, and in places very funny, this serious but slow paced indie, is confirmed not to find an audience outside of the art house. Sometimes startling, with an underlying tragic sensibility, it confirms Sarah Polley as a serious filmmaker.
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