Rebecca Paul proclaims her love for the new film but doesn't want to give too much away.
Writing this would be a good deal more fun if I were willing to divulge more of the plot but I’m not going to do that because this film is best discovered for yourself.
Watching horror, it’s less about considering the merits of the film as it is reflecting on the ninety-minute experience itself. Drag me to Hell, Rec and Insidious are some of the few films of late that have provided its audience with the unsettling mixture of horror, discomfort and laughter in varying extremes, and this film rivals each and every one.
Cabin laments classic horror, dissociating itself from the torture-porn films that have dominated cinemas for the last few years. Rather it shows these films to be tired, formulaic and boring and expresses a sense of, ‘Look at me!’ as it romances the age-old scares of Nosferatu, Evil Dead, Romero and psychological horror while at the same time injecting fresh ideas of its own.
A cleverly layered film, Cabin not only relies on the usual unexpected scares to entice its audience; it actively generates them itself with a witty and cutting script so as to elicit a deluge of laughter punctuated with genuine jumps. The writers have had fun with the audience too. The obligatory sexy teen couple drunkenly wander outside the cabin and the scene abruptly cuts to a room filled with fifty or so employees watching them over CCTV before one member of staff says matter-of-factly, ‘Engaging pheromone mists.’ Our couple then find themself in passionate embrace on the forest floor.
We’re often immersed in the horror, devouring the story as an audience ought to, but there’s another dimension to the narrative, a voyeuristic position through which we observe events free from emotion, actively laughing at their peril in our own safe environment. Eventually these two positions collide to explosive effect.
While the film pokes all kinds of fun at the genre, shamelessly painting every scene with horror tropes, there’s an equal respect for what really gets under the skin of the viewer. I cannot help but think this is a particular skill of Whedon’s as there’s a potent sense of the horror-meets-humour of the Buffy series to the tone of the film.
I could talk about how I loved any number of scenes, witty exchange or particular scenes but as I mentioned before, this would ruin the fun. Suffice to say every emotion is stirred through the insane series of events which spin out of control through phantasmagorical monsters, a sharp script, bewildering plot and a killer ending. The Cabin in the Woods absolutely claws its way into my top five horror films and I think it may lurk there a while.
The Cabin in the Woods opens April 13 in wide release.