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CABIN IN THE WOODS – The Blu-Review

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When five friends take a trip to a secluded cabin, they expected a weekend of fun. What they didn’t bargain for was a trip where they fight for their lives.

One of the best horror films I have seen in a long time, CABIN IN THE WOODS stars Kristen Connolly (THE HAPPENING), Chris Hemsworth (THE AVENGERS), Anna Hutchison (TV’s “Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior”), Fran Kranz (THE VILLAGE), Jesse Williams (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”), Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR) and Bradley Whitford (TV’s “The West Wing”) as they set off on their adventure into the unknown.

Check out the trailer here:

A rambunctious group of five college friends steal away for a weekend of debauchery in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in a night of endless terror and bloodshed. Sound familiar? Just wait. As the teens begin to exhibit standard horror movie behavior, a group of technicians in a control room are scrutinizing, and sometimes even controlling, every move the terrified kids make. With their efforts continually thwarted by the all-powerful eye in the sky, do they have any chance of escape?

At first glance, it starts off like any other horror film, including a creepy stranger they encounter on their way to the cabin that warns them of the dangers ahead. Typical horror stuff, right? Wrong! The film then takes some crazy twists and turns, bringing it to a level beyond the normal hack/slash film. It’s not since SCREAM that I have seen a movie try to outline the rules of horror (In a respectable way), and this film not only does that, but goes above and beyond. The film is innovative, smart, and includes some of that Joss Whedon humor that we all know and love. He and Drew Goddard knocked this one out of the park. It’s visually stunning, clever, and relies on wit rather than relying on cheap horror scares to make you jump a few times.

THE BLU-RAY

At first glance, I was kind of mad at the blu-ray for its hologram. Holy spoiler alert! The beauty of this film is that the audience doesn’t really know what’s unfolding until the right moment. The film is full of surprises. The sad part is that they put the biggest surprise on the cover! If I bought this, and had yet to see the movie, I would be furious! They may want to rethink that.

AUDIO: The English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio is incredible. Once the creepy music creeps in, you will be in horror movie heaven! The sound is crisp, clear, and brings out the best in every blood curdling scream.

VIDEO: The 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen transfer (2.40:1) is stunning. The film is made to have some rather murky/dark scenes, but it still is clean and precise.

BONUS FEATURES:
  • Audio commentary with Writer/Director Drew Goddard and Writer/Producer Joss Whedon : This not only gives great information, but it’s also rather funny and witty. They go into production difficulties, working with the cast, and even their thoughts on the final film. One of the better commentaries I’ve listened to in a while.
  • “We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods” featurette : This mini documentary is filled with great behind the scenes footage and Joss Whedon goodness, this covers everything from where they wrote the script to production details.
  • “The Secret Secret Stash” feature: This section includes :
    • “Marty’s Stash”: A look at Marty’s smoking tools as shown by actor Fran Kranz
    • My name is Joss and I’ll be your guide” : A guided tour of the interior and exterior of the cabin set by Joss Whedon.
  • Wonder-Con Q&A with Joss and Drew : A fun Q&A session after a screening of the film with the audience.
  • An Army of Nightmares: Make-Up & Animatronic Effects” featurette : If you have not watched the movie yet, do not watch this. A close look at the effects needed for the film. It’s really cool, especially if you are into special effects. Still, there are spoilers in this section.
  • “Primal Terror: Visual Effects” featurette : Again, if you have not watched the movie yet, you might not want to watch this. It has spoilers as well, and is another glance into the visual effects world.
  • It’s Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods” Bonus View Mode (Blu-ray Exclusive) : Although the viewing screen is extremely small, it’s still interesting to hear the cast and crew talk about the film. Still, they could have made the screen a bit bigger so we can make out what is going on in the box.
  • Theatrical Trailer

Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon haven’t really ventured into full-blown horror until now. Sure, they have tv shows with horror tones, but nothing like this. Growing up as fans of horror, they have created a movie that goes above and beyond what is being produced in modern horror today. CABIN IN THE WOODS is fun, different, and exciting. Aside from the spoiler hologram box art and the small viewing window in the Bonus View Mode, I am very pleased with the Blu-Ray.

OVERALL RATING: 4.5

CABIN IN THE WOODS is out on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital Copy), DVD (plus Digital Copy) and On Demand today From Lionsgate

Nerdy, snarky horror lover with a campy undertone. Goonies never say die.

1 Comment

  1. Matt

    September 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    This is not only a great horror movie, but is one of the best movies that came out this year. The polar opposite of your typical hack and slash movie, this movie has depth to every scene and makes a strong statement. It may disappoint some who just want to be scared, but it will delight any true horror fan. I skipped this movie in theaters because I thought it was just another blood covered bad movie, but I decided to rent it after a coworker at Dish recommended it as being very smart. I added it to my Blockbuster @Home queue, and it came in the mail yesterday. The mix of humor, horror, B-flick, and cinema epic are masterfully pulled off and produce something truly unique. I rented the Blu-Ray, which was beautiful, especially the nighttime shots. I love renting Blu-Rays because I can get that home theater experience without shelling out $30, but this one is so good that I will gladly go out and buy it. I hope that it receives some kind of nod at the Oscars this year because that is how good it is.

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