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Wick's Review

Created Apr 15, 2012 10:41PM PST • Edited Jan 11, 2020 02:42AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Is there a funnier scary movie? While not laugh-your-guts-out, The Cabin in the Woods is LOL all thru. The comedy just keeps coming and coming. Bloody deaths come too, soon a welcome part of the comedy.

    Some reviewers decline to describe the movie. Just go they say. Why not describe it? Everyone knows that most characters come to gruesome ends in zombie movies. How and in what order are the questions.

    The Cabin in the Woods gets its charm by establishing a method to the madness, an evil deus ex machina writ large. Think The Hunger Games, only corporate and creepy. Wait, charm? Sure. Zombies are idiotic fun, ideal props for charmingly ironic comedy.

    The movie opens on Brad Whitford, always a good choice for droll humor. No one is better at essaying the half-dozen gradations between ironic cheerfulness and mordant irony. He and middle-aged character actor-of-the-moment Richard Jenkins play a couple of Men in Black-like executives, except these are bad guys. They also give the movie a strong dose of middle-aged office humor, much appreciated by those of us whose cabin partying days are decades in the past.

    The suits inflict head games on a perfectly drawn quintet of young victims: a hot alpha couple, a couple of cute smarties and a fool. The result alchemizes into an inspired game of Truth or Dare – funny, sexy, scary.

    Middle-aged humor, youthful humor, end-to-end droll comedy, sex appeal, perfectly executed brilliance: The Cabin in the Woods is the best comedy-horror movie ever. Truth.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Anna Hutchison’s dare seduction of a freaky trophy is a horror classic. Rack it. BTW, Hutchison is a Kiwi, though you wouldn’t know given how natural she is as an American girl.

    Chris Hemsworth plays her alpha male boyfriend, something of a comedown for the stud who plays Thor. BTW, Hemsworth is Aussie. So this American movie has a couple from the British Commonwealth as its ultimate hotties. Meanwhile, also in the multiplex right now is Liam Hemsworth, Chris’s younger brother.

    Kristen Connolly fetchingly plays the smart girl. She’s also the virgin. I’m sensing a connection.

    Fran Kranz plays the fool of the bunch who may not be so foolish. Hmmm.

    Jesse Williams’ smart jock rounds out the partiers.

    Aside from these Five leads and the aforementioned Brad Whitford and Richard Jenkins, there are a handful of great cameos.

    • Tim De Zarn as a creepy hick.
    • Sigourney Weaver as the ultimate suit.
    • A bunch of zombies.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    All hail Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard, fanboy heroes. Drawing elements from their previous creations, they’ve created a perfectly executed comedy-horror confection. Sharp eyes will recognize ideas from Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story and Cloverfield.

    Their film really distinguishes itself as a supremely successful exercise in irony, especially the ironic juxtaposition of old-school graphics with naturalistic sequences, and prosaic organizational foibles with bizarre horror movie conventions. For instance, the HQ guys play the old speakerphone trick on a murderously demented underling. Meanwhile the routine competition of different geos – familiar to anyone who works in a modern multinational – is used to great effect. The Japanese office’s efforts are particularly funny, in a mordant black-humor kind of way.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    While Drew Goddard is credited as the Director, Joss Whedon directed the 2nd Unit, no small contribution in a big-time action movie.

  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    The horrific imagery of goblins, zombies and torture boggles the mind. It brings to mind the ghastly creations of Guillermo del Toro of Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth fame.

    How did they do it? Dozens of stuntmen, a dozen puppeteers and countless animators and FX techs.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.3

    Well earned sordidness: mildly erotic, enthusiastically savage, comically profane.

  15. Sex Erotic 3.0
  16. Violence Savage 4.0
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.0
  18. Supernatural 3.6

    Forget the supernatural reality conceits for a moment. The societal conceit that allows a crazy story like this to be effective entertainment is that it is populated by characters who look, sound and act like Americans, but who operate in a larger culture devoid of Judeo-Christian values. Thus organized murder and mayhem seems like something you’d read about in Dilbert. Clever misdirection, that.

    As to all the supernatural shit that goes down, consider just the ridiculous notion of zombies, as previously examined in my Zombieland Reality commentary.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.6
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.6
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.6


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Dec 1, 2012 10:55AM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“It’s more of a comedic analysis of horror; a theoretical proposal about how horror happens – whatever.” Yes – brilliant!