The Cabin in the Woods is the first film to truly shake up the horror genre since the release of Wes Craven's Scream. Then again, I would expect to see nothing but awesome from writer/producer Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Lionsgate released the film on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand September 18. I had the chance to see the film in theaters and again on Blu-ray and my love for this film continues to grow.
Drew Goddard wrote and directed the film that stars Kristen Connolly (The Happening), Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers), Anna Hutchison (Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior), Fran Kranz (The Village), Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing).
The story follows a group of five college friends who go away for a weekend of fun and drinking at a cabin in the woods. I know what you are thinking, but this is far from your traditional slasher film. Things get turned on upside down the moment that the story begins to follow a group of technicians in a control room watching every move the group makes, and even controlling them. When the evil comes for blood, will any of the teens be able to make it out alive?
Cabin in the Woods has equal amounts of comedy, scares and gore to make both horror fans and those not typically a fan of the genre happy. The more I watch this movie, the more I think that it is truly one of the most easily accessible "horror" movies of late. To illustrate this for you, I showed it to my in-laws this weekend, who are in their late 60's. Granted they did think it was silly, but they did not have trouble getting through it like they would other horror movies. I would recommend that you consider showing a teenager that has expressed interest in horror movies this film.
Pleas skip to the end to avoid spoilers from this point forward.
The lab technicians played by Jenkins and Whitford add a unique dimension that you do not get in any horror film. From the beginning of the film it is clear to the audience that the group is being watched by a surveillance team. As the film goes on you begin to notice that similar horrific situations are going on all over the world, and that they are all part of something much bigger. Just how big, you really do not know until the end, but trust me there is a huge twist at the end. I did not see it coming the first time that I watch the film in theaters, and still think it is pretty impressive. What gets me the most every time is that this group of five friends are a shining example of every type of horror film cliche, but they break out of their pre-conceived molds in each case.
Lionsgate has put together one of the best collection of special features for this disc, in my opinion.
- It's Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods Bonus View Mode - This section takes audiences through various scenes in the film with the cast and crew as the action happens. The main drawback for me on this is that the PiP windows are entirely too small for you to see who is talking at certain points.
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Drew Goddard and Writer/Producer Joss Whedon. - This is one of the coolest commentaries that I've seen on a disc. When Wedon and Goddard talk it is like listening to some of my Geek friends talking about something they are really passionate about.
- We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods (HD; 28:33) - This section is funny as hell. Whedon shows some cool behind-the-scenes footage and talks about the writing process. He even ties the film to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a unique way.
- The Secret Secret Stash (HD; 13:07) - These sections are titled"Marty's Stash" and "My Name is Joss and I'll Be Your Guide", and give a breakdown of the various props and production design for the film.
- An Army of Nightmares: Makeup and Animatronic Effects (HD; 12:10) - Gives a peek behind the curtain at the SFX of the film
- Primal Terror: Visual Effects (HD; 12:07) This section focuses more on practical effects and it is cool.
- Wonder-Con Q&A (HD; 27:30) - If you are like me, you missed Wonder Con. This recording is pretty funny.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD; 2:27)
Cabin in the Woods keeps you interested, unlike many horror films, from start to finish. I love the script, plot and overall concept on this film. Goddard is very talented, and I hope to see more of his work in the future. The Cabin in the Woods is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD. Check it out!