Rich Reviews returns with a vengeance this week, with the brand new horror movie to hit theaters. I saw The Cabin in the Woods yesterday at a relatively crowded 5:15pm showing. I was not surprised when I heard that the horror movie finished 3rd at the Box Office this weekend with $14.8 million, behind The Three Stooges (#2, $17.1 million) and The Hunger Games (#1, $21.5 million). For a full review on The Hunger Games just scroll down.
The tagline for The Cabin in the Woods states: "Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods." But perhaps even more fitting was the simpler tagline, "You think you know the story, think again." Nice.
Now I don't want to ruin anything for you, as the main reason I saw it on opening weekend was so that some asshole on twitter didn't spoil it for me before I could see it. So here is my, spoiler avoided, review.
The Cabin in the Woods deserves instant credit for not being a remake or a sequel, which seems to be the only kind of horror movies being made right now. Fun fact, this movie was actually made back in 2009, then they wanted to postpone the thing to make it 3D (really happy that didn't happen). MGM then had financial issues and the film was put on hold and eventually picked up by a new distributor, and bang April 13, 2012 (Friday the 13th of all days).
What's great about Cabin is that it takes a very simple, played out, overdone, idea (college kids stranded somewhere like the woods- see: Friday The 13th(s), Evil Dead(s), Cabin Fever, Wrong Turn(s), Texas Chainsaw Massacre(s), House of 1,000 Corpses, Blair Witch Project, etc., etc., etc., but it introduces elements that aren't tired. Again, I don't want to ruin anything, and simply by saying it's not just a slasher movie may give something away, but it doesn't tell the whole story.
Horror movie fans will really appreciate this film. Knowledge of the genre, which has grown stale for the most part, makes Cabin all the better. It goes in a direction you can not prepare for. As I watched yesterday I couldn't help but think, "smart" the movie was "smart." It is a game-changer. The creators obviously know the genre, and make references to past classics, while completely ripping the lid off a brand new idea. However, only time will tell on how its remembered in horror movie history.
I don't think the characters will be as iconic as those from Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St., Evil Dead, Scream, etc., but let's give it some time. And I'm talking about both the villains and the protagonists. It took those movies some time to really take their place in film lour. Although the dude who plays Thor, Chris Hemsworth is in it as the typical jock with the hot girlfriend.
It's not fair to really rank a film after just seeing it once. But I might as well try. I would not put it in my Top 10 Horror all-time, but, how many have been better since 2000? 10? 5? None?
If you like horror movies you will like Cabin in the Woods, if you don't like them, you still might. You will definitely be talking about it for awhile after you see it. Are there plot holes or unanswered questions, you bet, like most scary movies, but it's a fresh take and fun as hell. Like all great films of the genre, there are some laughs combined with a few scares and crazy kills.
In my Theater-Netflix-TV-Don't Bother scale: I have to go with Theater.
Rich Reviews: The Cabin in the Woods = 9/10