Tag Archives: Joss Whedon

Guest Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Director: Drew Goddard
Year: 2012
Score: 7.5/10
Reviewer: Drew Pontikis

"Wow, my hair looks a lot more ginger than I thought it did. Probably due a cut as well."

“Wow, my hair looks a lot more ginger than I thought it did. Probably due a cut as well.”

This is a very intriguing film because the horror is underlying rather than in your face, and so you find yourself almost overlooking the action that’s going on in front of you. As it happens, that’s a testament to how well the film is shot.

As a group of five friends head out to a cabin in the woods (duh), they are watched by what appears to be a team of government officials in some large complex. Once there, they find themselves set upon by zombies and, in a bid to escape, stumble across the real story that they are playing out.

The Cabin in the Woods has a very clever premise and, as mentioned above, is extremely well executed. What may have been a ten-a-penny zombie horror film is wrapped around something much darker, showing the indifference of man towards suffering when it is perceived as necessary. It’s poignant as it’s actually believable; it doesn’t feel like were the governments of the world given a similar situation this would be too far from what might happen (of course I realise this is nonsense but you know what I mean).

At no point does The Cabin in the Woods feel like a horror film, as the horror is incidental to the story. It’s absorbing and it keeps hold of you as it turns from zombie slasher to over the top government conspiracy almost seamlessly, and offers an alternative to a genre that too often becomes lazy and repetitive.

The only comment I have on it though is the clips of Japan; having finished watching it and spent some time thinking about how the plot works, not only does it not make any sense it is completely at odds with the whole premise of the plot. Why roughly 14 seconds of film incidental to the story bothered me isn’t clear, but it did. Just thought I’d mention it.

Drew Pontikis is an avid gamer and film fanatic. A fan of racing sims, first person shooters and horror films, Drew is notable for talking almost exclusively using Futurama quotes. Follow him on Twitter as @drew060609 or read his game reviews at http://obscenegaming.wordpress.com.

Review: Waterworld

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Year: 1995
Score: 6/10

Alas, I wasn't the first to spot the fact that these jet skis are already on fire before they actually collide and explode; someone else already listed it in IMDb's Goofs section.

Alas, I wasn’t the first to spot the fact that these jet skis are already on fire before they actually collide and explode; someone else already listed it in IMDb’s Goofs section.

I went in with such low expectations – which is difficult not to do, given this movie’s legendary status as a terrible flop – that its general adequacy quite impressed me. It’s often hokey and silly, there are some glaring plot holes and nonsensical premises (Enola can’t swim? Seriously?! And some humans will evolve gills and webbed feet within a few hundred years??!), Kevin Costner’s accent is just weird, Dennis Hopper is a cartoon, and some of the action set-pieces are pretty lame. Putting all that aside, it’s easy enough to just go along for the ride, with some reasonable action and a unique setting. I admit I laughed every time Gregor’s airship was conveniently framed just out of shot; despite the enormous budget, apparently it was too expensive to show the airship most of the time, so instead we get hilarious glimpses of its edges and ropes and shadows. The brief appearance by Kim Coates – later of Sons of Anarchy fame – is quite entertaining. Also look for Jack Black as a pilot in Hopper’s employ.