The Cabin In The Woods Blu-ray Review

Rarely does a film have so much insight, creativity and originality that it reinvents how we look at movies.  THE CABIN IN THE WOODS takes the horror genre and spins it on its head.  Forever providing a completely different outlook whenever watching any monster/slasher/scary film, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a brilliant new take on a tired genre that has been spitting out regurgitated predictability for years now.

Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison in THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

What is so awesome about the film, is it takes all those typical formulas we know about horror films and applies them once again in clever fresh explanation.  There is no big twist but rather a subtle unraveling of the meaning behind what the audience is seeing on screen.  Therefore, it is important still to withhold some of the more exciting details.  Have you ever wondered why the group alway splits up rather than stays together or why there is always a creepy guy at the end of town with some sort of cryptic warning?  Every question is answered like a satisfying scratch to an irritating itch.

Kristen Connolly in The Cabin In The Woods

The basic story follows a very familiar formula of five college students heading out to “a cabin in the woods” – The jock, (Chris Hemsworth, pre THOR), the party girl (Anna Hutchison), the new guy (Jesse Williams), the pothead (Fran Kranz) and the innocent good girl (Kristen Connolly).  After unleashing an evil zombie family, their only hope to survive the terror from the murderous walking dead is to find out who and what is behind it.  On the surface, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is like nearly every other horror film ever created, however with much better production, writing, acting and art design.  But this is the entire point of the film, to explore every stereotype about characters and formulas in horror films.

Richard Jenkins In The Cabin In The Woods

In a very untypical opening to a horror film, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS opens with a couple of older gentlemen played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.  Dressed in white short sleeve button ups, black tie and ID badge clipped to their shirt pocket, they are about as stereotypical bland and dorky looking as you can get in what appears to be a humdrum corporate job.  What they actually do is anything but.  Without giving too much away, their part is not some twist surprise to the film, but rather a gradual reveal of surprises for just what kind of impact they have on the action and why everything is the way it is.  Was that too vague?  Think:  THE TRUMAN SHOW as a horror film.

Anna Hutchison in THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

The film is surprisingly funny, maximizing on story rather than horror.  But don’t fret monster fans, as the third and final act will satisfy all the gruesome gore and devilish beings one could handle.  What is even more awesome, is director Drew Goddard and producer Joss Whedon are able to accomplish such a spectacular final act without sacrificing an ounce of quality in their brilliantly written story.  In fact, it enhances the entire structure and purpose of the film.

I can’t say enough about THE CABIN IN THE WOODS and get giddy when thinking about it again.  The focus on plot details and character will give a whole new enjoyment for multiple viewings.  With such a fresh, creative look at a genre, I don’t see how anyone can ever watch any horror film again without thinking about the behind the scenes THE CABIN IN THE WOODS has so cleverly provided.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: (1080p, 2.30:1) A wonderful looking picture with great detail in lighting.

Audio:  (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) The sound levels are excellent, aiding the film perfectly.

It’s Not What You Think: The Cabin In The Woods Bonus View Mode:  A tiny little window shows up in the corner of the screen during the film with interviews about the making of the film.

Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly in The Cabin In The Woods

Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Drew Goddard And Writer/Producer Joss Whedon:  An excellent commentary for anyone who is a fan of the film, Whedon projects or movie nerds, which I believe are one in the same. It’s also fun to hear when they realized Chris Hemsworth was going to be a much bigger star than everyone else, including themselves.

We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin In The Woods (28:33): This is fairly typical featurette but still pretty interesting and fun if you love the movie.

The Secret Secret Stash (13:07):  Two rather bland featurettes briefly explaining some of the props, Marty’s Stash”  and “My Name is Joss and I’ll Be Your Guide.”

An Army of Nightmares: Makeup and Animatronic Effects (12:10):  A cool look at all the different monsters and artists they hired to create the insanely awesome finale to CABIN IN THE WOODS.

Primal Terror: Visual Effects (12:07):  A look at all those same cool monsters and scenes that required effects.

Wonder-Con Q&A (27:30):  Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard answer questions in front of a live audience inside a theater.  True fans will get a kick out of this despite the lack of energy from our stars and corny jokes from the interviewer.

Theatrical Trailer  

OVERALL 4.5
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