The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

We know we don’t usually do new theatrical releases, but since we both loved this movie and the trailers didn’t really give you too much information about the flick; we decided maybe we could switch it up a bit.  We do this blog so maybe some of you fine readers out there might find something that you like, and normally otherwise wouldn’t see.  This one fits the bill; the trailer makes it look like just your standard slasher-in-the-woods-teenage-slaughter-fest. It is anything but…

Below are some spoilers, but not all of them… read at your own risk.

A group of five college kids set off on a weekend away from school at one of their cousin’s secluded cabins, which is in the woods, which gives us the movie title. Now that we have that out of the way, we also realize that people are tracking the group’s movement. Who would do that? Well we’ll tell you. It is a group of scientists who have pre-selected this group to make the trip the THEIR cabin (in the woods).  A group is selected to visit this place every year, and other places like it around the world, for the express purpose of being sacrified to a higher power.  Everything they are doing on their trip has been designed and manipulated by these scientists and technicians who are in a bunker under the cabin. Their job is to ensure that, through the kid’s own free will, they meet an untimely demise.  How do they do that you ask? Well… after the kids party for a while and select pheromones are pumped into the cabin, the hatch to the basement pops open. Of course it is up to the kids if they will go down there (here is where the free will comes into play), but they always do. No drunk college kid can resist a spooky cellar.

Down in the cellar are piles and piles of old junk, but not just any old junk.  Each one is a key to unlocking an evil that will bring about their death.  Depending on which object they focus on, the result will summon some sort of monster that the scientist will release into the woods to kill them.  This is the most fun that these guys holed up underground have all night, betting on what creature will be released. (If you watch the movie, be sure to check out the white board with the bets for all of the available monsters, many of them are really funny.)  This year’s group happens upon an old diary from a girl who supposedly used to live in the cabin, whose patriarch enjoyed to torture his own children. The reading of this book unleashes a family of redneck zombies to kill our poor group.  And that they do, taking out most of the crew. It isn’t until we are down to our last survivor that the tempo changes.  She isn’t the last one after all, one of the boys was thought dead, but escaped.  They find an elevator in the woods and it only goes one way – down.

As they descend into the bunker things don’t really get much better, as they pass cells with all of the other monsters that they could have released instead of the zombie family.  In retrospect, that blood-thirsty group of inbred savages might have been one of the better choices they could have made, as there are some horrific things down here.  They exit the elevator to a large complex, but are soon surrounded by guards. Holed up in a security office with no hope of escape, there is only one option left… the ‘PURGE’ button on a control board that will release all of the monsters into the complex!  The next twenty minutes or so is just these awful and strange creatures ripping people to shreds. It.  Is.  Awesome!  There is enough panic around that our survivors can escape and make their way into the middle of the complex, still looking for a way out.  It’s there that we learn the true reason for this place – it is an altar to ancient gods, who will destroy the world if they don’t get all their sacrifices by the end of the night.  The kids are given the choice, one of them can murder the other and all will be well and the world will be saved, or they can live and the world will be destroyed. Which would you choose?

Alex’s Thoughts: If it wasn’t for the Avengers, I would say that this might be the best movie I have seen in the theatres in years.  I have always had a man-crush on Joss Whedon, and have always loved his work, but this (along with the aforementioned Avengers) thing is just perfect.  Sure there are some plot holes and a lot of unanswered questions, but it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this is one hell of a fun movie.  Although pitched as a horror movie, I wouldn’t define it as such. Yeah it is a mostly a horror flick, but it is also a sci-fi movie and a comedy; there is something to like for everyone.  It is just an entertaining film and I could go on about it forever, but just know that I couldn’t recommend this thing more! Alex Rates This Movie 10/10

Tim’s Thoughts: For me, this is the best horror movie I have seen since Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. It has everything I want in a horror film, it’s funny, smart, it’s clever, it turns the genre on it’s ear. As you watch the movie you realize how far it goes, basically explaining every horror movie ever made, and why it goes down the way it does. The old classics and slashers are merely recreations of sacrifices past. As a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I was entrance the entire movie, not really being sure what would happen next. This is a lot of fun, and while I didn’t find it very scary, I had a blast watching this, (twice in theaters.) Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

“You won’t get out of this complex alive. What I want you to try to understand, is that you mustn’t. Your deaths will avert countless others. You’ve seen horrible things: an army of nightmare creatures, and they are real. But they are nothing compared to what lies beneath us. There is a greater good, and for that you must be sacrificed. Forgive us… and let us end it quickly.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.