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Take with a pinch of salt
3:39pm Friday 13th April 2012 in Film Reviews
Compiled by Stephen Webb
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (15)
Starring: Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz.
Director: Drew Goddard.
THIS horror film has its tongue wedged firmly in cheek, attempting to reinvigorate the horror genre with this slick tale of college kids in peril that is three parts bonkers to one part twisted genius.
Plot twists are the key selling point of The Cabin In The Woods and the big reveal in the closing minutes is a humdinger, including a cameo from a big name Hollywood star, who clearly relishes their five minutes in the spotlight.
Yet for all of its audacity and deliciously off-kilter humour, the various elements don’t gel seamlessly and once the writers’ grand plan is laid out before us, we feel slightly underwhelmed.
Bookish college student Dana (Kristen Connolly) is looking forward to a jaunt into the great outdoors with blonde friend Jules (Anna Hutchison) and her jock boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth), and bong-smoking slacker Marty (Fran Kranz).
Curt invites along his shy and sensitive buddy Holden (Jesse Williams), principally as a date for Dana, and the five thrill-seekers head into the mountains to a remote log cabin.
Meanwhile, deep within an underground bunker, scientist Richard Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford) stare at a bank of CCTV screens, which seems to be following the progress of the students towards the cabin.
The Cabin In The Woods has some big laughs and lashings of gore, including a possessed zombie appendage that lends a hand at a crucial juncture.
The young cast embrace their genre archetypes, screaming or disrobing on cue, while Kranz plays his stoner with aplomb, speaking sense through a mist of inhaled drugs when he gibbers, “I’ve seen what you don’t want to see: puppeteers!”
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