May 14, 2012

Movie on Monday: The Cabin in the Woods

Movie on Monday is what I hope will become a regular feature at Willing to See Less. As the name suggests, each Monday my new team member Vjeko will share his thoughts on new movie releases. Outside the blogging community, Vjeko is my favorite person to discuss books and movies with (someone I actually know in real life!). Books and movies and discussing them are a big part of our relationship; he taught me a lot about movies, I try to recommend books from different genres that I assume he'd enjoy. We may not always agree, but these discussions often lead both of us to fresh insights and constructive debates. It was only a matter of time when Vjeko and I would join forces to make WTSL a (hopefully) more enjoyable place with more diversity in content and opinion.

For this first appearance, Vjeko is reviewing The Cabin in The Woods.

The Cabin in The Woods
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard
Running time: 95 minutes

“The Cabin in the Woods” is literally like nothing that has ever graced the silver screen, ever! It is a matriculate deconstruction of the horror genre, one that was in desperate need of some serious revamping. Talking about this movie is a bitch, because it holds so many secrets and twists that ruining just one would diminish the experience.

A token of a plot (but not really): Five college kids (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth, Kristen Conolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams) set out on a weekend in a… well, cabin in the woods, hoping for three days of booze, weed an lots of sex. After they get there, they’re attacked by a group of zombies. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Trust me, you have no idea what you’re in for.

From that point on, “TCITW” develops into something much more than an ordinary horror movie. Co-writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (who also directed) take us for a ride through which they play with our expectations and perceptions of how a horror movie works. They dare us to be smug and believe that it’s so obvious to figure out what the movie is about. It’s seems so easy at times. At first glance all parts of the formula are present: the setting, the group of college kids, the monsters attacking… And then Whedon and Goddard pull the rug right under us several times. Arguably the biggest miracle of this movie is that every single surprise works and contains at least one element never before seen on film. Whedon and Goddard are puppet masters who have thought out their show to the smallest detail. They have created a subversive experience that just might change the way we look at movie storytelling in terms of how far it can be pushed.

Another thing I appreciated on a more personal level is just how likable our five main characters are. Usually in these kinds of movies the characters are horny idiots and we can’t wait for them to get it. The characters in this movie are horny, but they have some smarts and good humor. We care for them, especially when some of them make actually smart choices in handling the… situation.

This movie was actually made back in 2009, but due to the financial trouble of MGM studios it remained unreleased until now. Thank heavens Lionsgate had the balls to recognize what a unique piece of art this movie is. I’m still at a loss for words for how something as crazy as this was allowed to be made, let alone unleashed on the world.

I can’t guarantee everyone will actually like the movie. It goes to some insane places and demands a HUGE leap of faith, but I dare anyone to deny the originality and the inventiveness of the storytelling. It’s an important contribution to cinema and to pop culture. Like it or not, Joss Whedon’s and Drew Goddard’s “The Cabin in the Woods” will stay with you long after it’s over, maybe even forever.


About the Author

Vjekoslav Rosandić is a 26-year old movie critic who has already made a name for himself locally, contributing movie reviews for TV and various media outlets in print and online. As of recently he writes editorials for Around the Networks. Vjekoslav holds a Master's degree in English and Philosophy and is currently employed as university librarian. When he's not watching movies, he's reading or hanging out with his fabulous girlfriend.

Find Vjeko on Twitter

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...