[FILM Review, SXSW 2012]: The Cabin In The Woods
Right before the world premiere of SXSW’s Headlining film
As Whedon fans would have already read by now, the film uses sophisticated parody and structural surprises to deconstruct the horror genre, which both Whedon and Goddard have publically criticised as devolving into torture porn, tired cliches and “kids acting like idiots”. The basic set-up of the film is as typical as they come: five attractive college students – played by Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams and Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth who, to the delight of Whedon and Goddard, have become far better known than they were back in 2009
But even without the carefully balanced and (mostly) nuanced performances, Cabin In The Woods had all the ingredients to be huge this year: The one-two punch of Whedon and Goddard, whose film winks knowingly at their bank of die-hard fans all the way through, from the whip-smart dialogue at the beginning to the genius casting right at the end; the lengthy anticipation that built for the movie as it sat in purgatory after MGM went bankrupt; cult-favourite Lionsgate swooping in to save the day, adding it to a stable of American Psychos, Saws and Mad Mens; endless quotability, heaps of gore and a bunch of weed, making it perfect for late-night-with-shared-pizza re-watches; and an official premiere at SXSW, which couldn’t have been a more perfect fit.
The two hefty gentlemen I was tucked between throughout were representative of much of the crowd, high-fiving over the top of me about fifteen years of Buffy (which came out on March 10, 1997), discussing their impassioned thoughts on what Avengers might bring, and laughing (really) loudly and knowingly at every in-joke they could decipher. But I never got into Buffy, I’m not a horror film groupie, and I certainly didn’t get all the references – and by the close of this film, which ends in a cathartic (but peculiarly amoral) blaze, I was cheering with the rest of them.
Posted: March 11th, 2012 under Arts, Film Reviews, SXSW 2012.
Tags: Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Buffy, Chris Hemsworth, Drew Goddard, esse Williams, Fran Kranz, Joss Whedon, Kristen Connolly, Richard Jenkins, SXSW 2012, SxSW Film