Friday, May 17, 2013

Review - Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Ah, every geek's dream friday night.  No, not having sex with two bisexual female models.  Are you an idiot?  I said GEEK's dream friday night.  I was referring to getting all warm and comfy with a cold beer and a horror movie.  Geeks do not have three-way sex with bisexual female models.  At least, not this geek, and not this friday.  A cold beer and a horror movie is the best I can do, and honestly, it's two hours of my life, there's no small talk or drama, no STDs and no children to deal with, so, in many ways, it's better than a three way with two bisexual female models.  But hey, you know.  Variety is good, too.  ;-)

Tonight's entertainment came in the form of Cabin in the Woods (2011).  I had seen the promos for this movie, but hadn't heard anything more about it since then.  Which, generally doesn't bode well for a movie.  It's funny, I read the reviews on Netflix.  There were a few 5-star ratings.  I am always suspicious about 5 star ratings on a movie I haven't heard about, especially ones as glowing as the reviews I read on Netflix.  I am beginning to suspect the producers/stars/whatever of these movies pad their own movies with good reviews just to up the ratings on them.  I know, most of you out there are going "DUH!"  Yea, well, forgive, me, I don't get out much.  As you may have suspected from the first paragraph up there.  So there were 5-star reviews that said "Brilliant movie!  Revolutionizes the genre!  Begins with cabinet of caligari and ends with Cabin in the woods!"  Or cabinet of caligula, or whatever the hell that silly 1920's movie was.  And then I read "Waste of time.  Piece of cow flop."  And the next review says "Don't believe the ones who say this movie sucks!  They are not horror movie lovers!"

Well, now.  I love horror movies.  I've seen a lot of them.  And if there's one thing I really hate, it's a horror movie that doesn't have one story to tell.  Here's the thing.  There's a flow to these things.  Any first year creative writing major will tell you this is how stories go.  There's a setup.  Then a buildup.  Then a climax.  Then a steep drop off.  Then the aftermath.  All tales, every story you have ever read, life in general, it ALL WORKS THIS WAY.  There's official terms for these things, and I'm fucked if I can remember what they are, but my point is, if the build-up stops in mid-build to switch to another story, the tension level goes right the fuck out the window.  And this is what happens here.  So without further ado, here's as basic a plot summary I can give you as possible.

Group of kids goes to a cabin in the woods.  They find an old diary with the tale of the Bruckner family, as they are reading it, they raise the bruckner family from the dead, who proceeds to kill them, yada yada yada.  I am getting bored just writing this, and this is why the story in this movie fails so ridiculously.  It treats every horror movie out there as sort of a reality TV show, where's there's things going on behind the scenes in order to bring about the deaths of everyone involved in the tale.  It tries to tie together every horror movie by sketching out a cheap background story that really only takes about 15 minutes screen time to deliver.

I was on the fence about this one til I started writing this review, I really was.  Mostly because, I jsut saw the movie, and I was trying to piece together everything that went on at once.  It can be a lot for a drunken brain to process.  I guess if you want to view this movie as a comedy, it really does work pretty well.  It isn't really a horror movie.  There aren't any scary parts, mostly because they don't give you time to be scared while switching between story lines.  I must say I laughed at quite a few of the comedy skits, if you want to call them that.  As a comedy, I give this 3 stars.  As a horror movie, not even one.  Chris Hemsworth or whatever his name is, plays THOR!  Wait, no sorry, he just plays some jock who acts like Thor most of the time.  I think Chris is getting a little typecast there.  lol  Thor, the Huntsman, the jock...  Seriously, Chris, take an acting job where you play an emotionally eloquent gay guy, who spends all day thinking and smiling, instead of tackling trees, will you?  Just to break the mold!  The rest of the cast is, well, meh.  They act sufficiently to get the point across, given the script.  Sigourney weaver even plays the Director!  And that's an actual part, not saying that she directed the movie.  Which, she may have, who knows, i didn't read the credits, but I doubt it.  I think she has more class than that.  And Amy Acker!  Who's like, the adorable chick of horror movies.  She's played everything from ancient gods to hot chicks to geeky girls with equal aplomb and she has a recurrent role in one of my favorite series, Person of Interest.  Amy Acker always acts perfectly well for whatever role she happens to be in, and seems to be just as believable in every one.  But, enough about my love affair with Amy.  At this point, after solidifying my opinions on how this movie basically steals from all the other horror movies, and then squishes it all into a short story that H. P. Lovecraft would have tossed into the trash bin and burned, well, you haven't really got a horror movie, have you?  Suffice it to say, I was not impressed.  If you are going to watch this, think of it as a comedy horror flick, I would say similar to Shaun of the Dead, but nowhere near as well-written as that movie.  This is essentially a horror movie spoof, to sum things up, even if it doesn't intend to be.  This movie is new to Netflix, so should be around a while if you want to watch it there and see what I mean.

And now for the spoilers!  Don't read this if you want to actually watch the movie, or, you know, read these and then watch the movie as a comedy sketch, because this sure as hell doesn't spoil the comedy parts, which are really the only reasons to watch this movie.  I loved the comedy bits!  Some of the best ones I've ever seen in an actual horror movie spoof.  First there's the harbinger skit.  I laughed out loud.  basically there's the requisite creepy old guy who warns the kids away from wherever they want to go.  You know who I mean, he's in like every goddamn horror movie ever made.  Fucked if I know why, you'd think someone would eventually listen to the creepy old fuck and go "Shit, you know what?  There's been 12 thousand kids gone disappearing in that big old lake that's rumored to have crocodiles swimming in it.  Maybe we should fence that the fuck off!"  Or you know, whatever the hell the old guy is warning people about.  So this particular movie has the old creepy gas station attendant.  Who after suitably scaring the kids, calls into the main office and says "Hell and Brimstone will come to them!  They will perish in the fiery...  Wait, am I on speakerphone?  Godamnit, that's just rude!  Who's listening?"  Yea, I laughed my hairy ass right the fuck off during that bit.  And that's a lot of laughing for such a big ass.  Also, there's the whole Zombie hand skit.  Sort of an ongoing sketch for several minutes, but does bring the laughs.  I loved watching the zombie hand feeling around for the guy's face as the elevator doors were closing.  That was epic.  And, yea, okay so there's not that many funny moments in this movie, but they're the only parts worth watching, so who the fuck cares?  Moving on to the final spoiler.

So it's the end of the movie.  And by now you know what's going on.  Now, here's where I would have done the movie different.  I won't spoil the actual ending, but, wouldn't it have been a better movie if the GUY turned out to be the virgin?  And by the woman dying first, trying to fuck everything up and ruin the proper sequence of events, she actually FULFILLS the requisite events of the ritual sacrifice, and saves the world?  I would have thought that would be AWESOME.  I mean, they even hinted at it in parts, because every time they sort of hint that she's the "cute and innocent virgin sort" she's all like "heh, not quite."  And if he's the virgin, that makes TOTAL SENSE, and explains the WHOLE GODDAMN MOVIE a lot better.  As well as, you know, tying up everything nicely, by saying "hey, you fucktards in the behind the scenes story fucked up when you cast the roles for this movie."  Which just, makes everything make sense.  At least to me.

And I like when my world makes sense.  Sure, I know the real world will never make sense, there's just too many insane fuckers out there who make the insane rules for everything to make sense, BUT if things could make sense in the movies, wouldn't that at least be nice to watch?  I mean, even if they don't make sense at first, shouldn't they make sense in the end?  Well, I think they should.  I'd rather like to know that I'm not the ONLY person in the world who is still sane.  Even if I am wearing a straitjacket as I type this.  With my toes.

So there you have it.  Cabin in the Woods fails as a horror movie, has mediocre success as a comedy sketch.  Watch it once for the boobs and funny bits, and Amy Acker (whose name my brain insists is ackerman, come on brain, wtf is wrong with you, I looked her name up on IMDB!), who is marvelously wonderful in everything she does.  Personally I think she needs to do some nude parts, but that's just my dick talking.  And yes, he does have his squinty one eye trained on Amy Acker.  He's a bit of a hard-liner in his views.  Tends to head straight for the meat of the issue, as it were.  Okay, enough dick inferences.

That's all for tonight!  There is no other news!  :-D  Have a nice weekend.

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