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The Cabin In The Woods – Review   Leave a comment

The Element of Surprise

I haven’t been this shocked by a movie literally ever. I mean in Inception my mind was slightly warped when I walked out and Memento raised my eyebrows, but I was thoroughly shocked after this one.

I partially attribute this to the fact I didn’t read any reviews before I saw it, (in an attempt to remain at least a tiny bit unbiased) but even so The Cabin In The Woods is a unique hybridization of film canon that deserves your attention.

I would describe it categorically as a cross between horror, suspense, satirical comedy and action. It has each of these elements in balance throughout the film and the end product is unique to say the least.

The title, the previews, and even the film posters all seem to point to one thing: cheesy commercial horror flick, the kind of movie that features blood and boobs in equal proportion without any substance to justify it. However this first-glance impression of the film could not be more incomplete.

I wouldn’t say the plot has twist but rather is just wonderfully perverse right from the beginning. You spend as much time trying to figure out what the hell is going on as you do rooting for the main characters.

Without divulging anything too juicy I’ll try and lay it out for you.

A group of college-aged kids decides to spend a weekend away from the world at a isolated log cabin somewhere in Appalachia. As soon as they arrive you understand that they are not meant to survive.

The film is experienced through two main perspectives, the victims, and the coordinated and exceptionally cast team of professionals that are tasked with killing the victims. Why they are doing and the story that lies behind this cabin are what really make the film tick.

The character actors cast in this film are spot on. Without any big names (except for an extremely brief cameo from the burnt out Sigourney Weaver) Director Drew Goddard crafted a suspenseful and unique masterpiece that can satisfy an incredibly diverse audience.

Although not being a household name Goddard has made quite a career for himself, and it is because of his very unique and expressive style of film making. Goddard was the director of TV suspense phenomenon Lost as well as the head-ache inducing Cloverfield. I mean say what you want about Cloverfield but it still exhibited some fresh perspective, and it showed Goddard had enough sack to bend the rules.

If you liked Shaun of The Dead, Saw and its various film cousins, Underworld, or a film that mimics the suspense of a film like Inception (minus the A-list actors) this is a film you would enjoy.

I give this one a solid A. It earned an 8.0 on IMDB and a shocking 92% (which is still rising) on RottenTomatoes. If you don’t want to listen to me listen to them.

Hollywood has gotten stuck in an incredibly repetitive and commercialized vein of film making it makes me sick. The Cabin in the Woods breaks the mold and delivers a bit of everything, leaving the audience with only this thought “I don’t know what in the name of sweet cheeba just happened to me, but I liked it… a lot”

Safe House – Film review   1 comment

Safe House

IMDB: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

Ryan Reynolds has finally left his Van Wilder roots behind as he and Denzel struck espionage silver in Safe House.

 

I say silver because although Reynolds created a believable CIA agent aura, he’s still no Jason Bourne.

 

Denzel on the other hand was predictably phenomenal as the enigmatic and extremely dangerous Tobin Frost the ex-CIA double agent that drives the film.

 

Although the CIA double-crossing conspiracy film genre has been milked harder than any of us feel comfortable with Safe House packs enough star power, shoot-outs and spy mystique to earn a solid B/B+.

 

If you sat down and really thought about the plot of this film you would realize that it’s predictable as all hell, but when actually watching the star power and loud noises help you to forget about all that.

 

Reynolds is a rookie CIA agent (if there is such a thing) stationed in Cape Town, South Africa when disavowed wanted man and ebony box office magician Denzel Washington lands in his lap.

 

What ensues is like a hybrid of Training Day and The Bourne Ultimatum.

 

That’s really the best way to describe it. Denzel does his thing just like always, Reynolds shows that he’s got some chops as he sheds a few tears and kicks a little ass.

 

The most rewarding aspect of the film is the sort of begrudging mentor-like relationship that develops between Reynolds and Washington in the film.

 

For the most part the film remains somewhat on the superficial side of entertainment (car chases, spy intrigue etc.) but the director chose to delve a bit deeper when it came to the relationship between the two stars.

 

Although director Daniel Espinosa made his A-list debut with this film he did a very solid job handling both his actors and the spy-film context, which can become convoluted or just plain boring if your not careful.

 

The runtime of 115 minutes gives the film adequate time to develop but doesn’t leave you running for the door when the credits roll like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the like.

 

The main success of the film is in moderation. It had all the raw materials to make a solid flick and Espinosa did a great job stepping aside and letting the story tell itself.

 

When it comes down to it the film delivers what it says it will. Excellent actors in a high budget environment with some high caliber action and the added bonus of some character development make the film a solid Saturday night watch.

 

If you are fan of either actor it’s a must see, if you’re a fan of action your gonna see it anyway, and if your bored then you should certainly consider seeing Safe House.

 

 

 

Posted March 13, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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