Story: This one time? At band camp? No, wrong movie. And wrong camp; here intelligent kids are dumbed down with chemicals so they do all the stupid stuff you see in slasher films. And since there are “puppeteers” pulling all sorts of strings, this isn’t gonna bode well for our characters. But why are the kids out there, and what’s going on behind the scenes? All in good time, my pretty. All in good time.
Scares: Even though this plays most effectively as a commentary on the over-the-top nature of today’s horror film (read: Torture Porn Sucks), there are still a few good scares thrown in amid all the good fun.
Splat factor: Splatty splat SPLAT. All over the woods, all over the kids, it even runs all over the camera lens as body…um, glop…hits the camera. Karo Syrup must be well stocked financially for the next several decades.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Hmm. Let’s just say it doesn’t end the way you think it will. In fact, there are several different endings you’ll be playing in your head throughout the film. Nope, nope and nope. Still, it doesn’t have the stupid “Gotcha suckers!” ending I loathe in current horror films. So yay!
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: The original. And the way Joss ends this, the only. Refreshing? Damn right.
Trick or Treat?: Like black licorice, Cabin in the Woods is a taste I’ve grown to love. I first saw this film when it screened before it’s official opening. I didn’t like it then. However I am a lady (stop laughing; that’s genetically correct) so I’m allowed to change my mind. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown and matured (doubt it), maybe because I was watching it on the small screen, but probably my change of heart is because I’ve allowed myself to ponder the film a bit. And damn if it hasn’t grown on me.
Do I stand by my original review? Well, sorta. Is it Joss Whedon’s Greatest Hits? Indeedy. But watching it now, when I know how things play out, I was able to enjoy it instead of waiting for the “game changing awesome” that was promised during all the buzz at SXSW. This gave me a killer bout of Boogie Nights Syndrome, which killed the film for me at first. But now I can sit back and let it unspool. And it’s pretty damn good. No, not Once More With Feeling good, not Hush good, but it’s enjoyable and it’s an evil little commentary on just how craptastic the horror genre has become of late. And in that vein, I can watch it with unabashed glee.
Bonus for the acting here. Chris Hemsworth works the Buffyesque quick quips with ease, and now I wish I could see him handle something more than Thor’s hammer. Not that I’m not down with an Avengers sequel or two. But I’d love to see him, y’know, act. Fran Kranz does a great job Marty the stoner, playing him as a Cassandra that nobody listens to because he’s so baked. There’s also the ability for this film to have great multiple endings – several times the film could have wrapped. That could play well on the cable TV rerun-palooza.
What else did I notice this go-round? After seeing this in theaters & knowing how it ends, it’s fun to play “spot the foreshadowing”. Now that it’s on DVD, the main menu is well done – it’s the control panel like the one you’ll see in the film. Nice touch.
My apologies, Joss.