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Movie Review: Cabin In the Woods

 This Review is from guest writer Aaron Frater.  Aaron is a life long geek.  He has passionate opinions about movies.  Please enjoy his review of “Cabin In the Woods”.

Let me start this by saying that I am not a fan of most movies in the horror genre. I generally feel that life is scary enough, and don’t need to pay money to have the pee scared out of me. That said, I enjoyed my visit to The Cabin in the Woods.

The only reason I went to see this movie is Joss Whedon. I was a huge fan of Firefly, Serenity, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. So I was expecting him to do what he does best, turn a genre on its face and make you care more about the characters and less about the nitty gritty details. He delivers on this in spades.

The beginning of the movie has five stereotypical friends, Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Dana (Kristen Connolly), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Holden (Jesse Williams), and Marty (Fran Kranz) going to spend a weekend in a run down cabin in the middle of the woods. After seeing all of them get into a camper, they head off into the wilderness to drink, have sex, and get high. This turns on its head when they discover a cellar inside the cabin that has innumerable strange artifacts left by the previous owner.

Where this movie takes a detour from the common hum-drum of most thrillers in the genre is what is going on behind the scenes. You are getting bits and pieces of another story that is very slowly unraveling in what looks like NASA command. The director is very good about not giving you the answers all at once, or tying the two plots together in a clumsy fashion.

Another important thing that sets this apart from other thrillers is Marty. Fran Kranz’s character is constantly pointing out flaws in the thinking of the other characters that would otherwise be common slasher film tropes. His character gives voice to what I was thinking in any particular situation, and provides for a much needed comedic break in tension.
The descent into madness is very quick when the group is attacked by a horde of redneck killer zombies. And that is where I will leave you on the plot description. Keep in mind what I said earlier though, in regards to turning a genre on its face. Not only are the zombies not the main part of the plot, but in the long scheme of things, are only a stepping off point into a movie that has you wondering what the plot really is.

I have read several other reviews on this movie, and a lot of them claim that this movie is a parody film. While I do not disagree with them that there is a large part of the movie that is parody, I don’t believe that this is where the movie ends up. In my mind this movie ultimately is a validation of the horror genre. It acknowledges common tropes, but at the same time explains them in a way that is both humorous, and realistic.

In conclusion I would like to give this movie a rating of: Rent it. Although this movie is definitely a well thought out and engaging thriller that will leave you wanting more, there are some things that I would have preferred not see in a movie theater. That being a scene of a topless Anna Hutchison that was unnecessary, not to mention the almost comically violent gore. People are constantly getting their body parts cut off, maimed, or blown up.
On a final note, do not let anyone tell you about the ending. I didn’t see it coming, and knowing the end would have spoiled the film.

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