Drive-In Review: CABIN IN THE WOODS (Blu-Ray)

This is a perfect homage to horror films of yesteryear. Cabin in the Woods delivers and we tell you why. Dig our review below.


Stars:  Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Sigourney Weaver

Directed by: Drew Goddard

Distributed by: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Format: Blu-Ray

MPAA Rating: R

This film by Drew Goddard is a game changer people. Just as Scream gave us a different perspective on the slasher serious. Cabin In The Woods changes the way the horror genre is viewed as a whole. Paired with Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard really stepped it up and this film,some say, will make other horror directors step up there game for years to come. Just writing about this film gives me a “Husband Bulge”.

Described by Goddard as a “love letter to horror cinema”, The Cabin in the Woods draws upon loads of horror clichés and somehow creates something entirely fresh from that which had become, lets be honest, stale and repetitive to the point of agony.

The teen horror cast is as follows: the whore (Anna Hutchinson), the athlete (Chris Hemsworth), the scholar (Jesse Williams), the fool (Fran Kranz) and the virgin (Kristen Connolly). They find themselves trapped in a big brother type watch program that decides their fate according to their reactions or decisions made.  All this being done for an outcome to “placate The Ancient Ones”, a reference to the fact that those in control must appease an unseen group of “giant evil gods” or risk the destruction of the entire world. Pretty complex am I right?

Anyone seeing this film for the first time will most likely have to ask “What am I watching?” Is it a reality show, a sudo-documentary, or just a teen slasher? These things one must decide on their own. Goddard and Whedon view this film as a homage to past horror films. Well, I believe it is a kick in the ass to other horror directors and writers to step up their game.

Now time for Drive-In Totals!

Drive-In Totals:

At Least 20 Dead Bodies(not counting massive amounts of bodies already dead off screen)

1 Dead Bird

2 Breasts

Weed Smoking

Beer Drinking

Joint Rolling

Truth or Dare

Hellraiser Homage

Japan Horror Homage

Gun Fu

Trowel Fu

Bear Trap Fu

Knife Fu

Zombie Fu

Werewolf Fu

Python Fu

And a scene that NOBODY would survive.

There is so much to discover in this flick… so much time and effort went into making everything amazingly perfect that you can go back and watch it multiple times, always finding something you may have missed on previous viewings. The tributes to past horror films are everywhere in the film, one must have a steady eye and an even steadier freeze frame button smashing finger.

The Blu-ray has and awesome 1080p transfer that is incredibly detailed, even in the movie’s intentionally dark and murky scenes. Skin tones are as natural as can be and the black levels are deliciously deep. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix will be giving your home theater set up a workout and a half as every thump thunders and scream shatters the air in the most delightful of ways. Everything is just perfect.

Full features on both the practical F/X (entitled An Army of Nightmares featuring Heather L. Anderson of AFX Studio…the savvy viewer will recognize Mrs. Anderson as the former Heather Langenkamp who played Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street series) and the CGI F/X (entitled Primal Terrors) are included as well as a tour of the cabin and the woods by co-writer/producer Joss Whedon.

For an additional laugh, check out Kranz’s Marty’s Secret Stash feature in which you get a tour of Marty, the hardcore stoner’s, favorite smoking paraphernalia. Many friends say I remind them of Marty…wonder why? 

A full overview of the production can be seen in We Are Not Who We Are (yet another fine tribute to a fellow horror title!), a full look at everything that went into the film. 

In terms of Blu-ray exclusives there is a fun picture-in-picture bonus view mode called “It’s Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods” which brings bits of the special features into the main feature itself.

After all these features you feel like you were part of the crew. There is even a pretty lengthy Q&A segment with the director and Joss Whedon from Wonder-Con.

When all is said and done, I personally feel Cabin In The Woods is what horror has needed for years. Maybe this will change the game in the future. Here’s hoping.



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