Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods- SXSW World Premiere

The Cabin in the Woods was made back in 2009 and due to the tireless efforts of producer/writer Joss Whedon and director/writer Drew Goddard was finally released last night at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX during SXSW film festival. In the nastiest of weather the red carpet was out to welcome both producer and director and actors Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Kristen Connolly, and Anna Hutchison.

The movie is about 5 college friends who decide to take a weekend trip up to a cabin owned by Curt Vaughn (Chris Hemsworth)'s cousin. Describing this movie is rather difficult without giving away spoilers because there is so much confusion and mystery throughout the movie. Joss Whedon made a personally plea to the audience to remain spoiler free as we talked about our experience with friends, family, and the internet. Suffice to say, the group of 5 learns that their lives and deaths serve a higher purpose than they could ever realize.

It is impossible to review this movie as a whole. The first third of the movie was horrendous. It was confusing, comical, and seemed more like a satirical look at the classic horror films that take place in the woods complete with weird guy at a gas station along the way, girl who is hesitant to have sex, girl who is all about the sex, and the stoner who figures the whole thing out. The script was not mind blowing but also not horrible. Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins roles were confusing and seemed pointless as well. The first third almost made me want to walk out- probably among the worst 30-45 minutes in a movie.

The second third of the movie was better. Now they have settled into the cabin and crazy stuff starts to happen. Unfortunately, I was still too distracted by how bad the film was up to this point, I had trouble enjoying this point in the film. The pace picked up and the body count started to rack up.

Now the third part of the film is when you start to forget how bad the movie was up to this point. While the end does not justify the means, the end did redeem the movie from a solid F to maybe a low C. You could tell this third was where the writers and director really started to enjoy themselves and have fun. FX effects were very impressive and quite complex and the story kind of started to make sense.

This was by no means a riveting movie. While it had a very different base idea, the way it was executed was nothing shocking or incredibly new. The story had a lot of promise, but the corniness at the beginning of the movie killed a lot of that promise and made it difficult to decide whether this was a horror comedy or an actual horror film. Joss seemed to understand this was not an instant classic, but also very excited to finally get this film made. With his, what I would call, misplaced excitement, I am now fearing The Avengers may have some shortcomings this summer. The Avengers will mark Joss Whedon's second movie as a director following Serenity from 7 years ago. Serenity was a fun movie, but most of its limited success was due to his incredible work and cult following from the classic one season show Firefly.

I would not recommend paying for this movie in a theater. If you are a horror junkie and understand that 80% of horror movies are actually garbage but are at least fun to watch, then pick this up. If you can appreciate an idea even if its not executed very well, then you will think this movie was ok. I personally give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

Movie poster image from:

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