‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Review: Scary Movie

Saying this upfront: NO SPOILERS. Paul and I have also discussed the film on the show.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A bunch of kids pack into an RV for a weekend of fun, sex, and sexy fun. That they encounter the extremely creepy owner of an ancient gas station on the way does nothing to deter them from their destination: a remote cabin in the woods, owned by one of the kids’ cousins. The place immediately seems a little off, there’s some disturbing stuff in the cellar, someone maybe reads Latin, and eventually bloody mayhem ensues. Though they should know better, each one succumbs to some very stupid behavior for which they will be punished.

This is the set-up for dozens, maybe hundreds, of horror movies. The Cabin in the Woods is something different. When we first meet these kids, they seem like lively, intelligent college students. They don’t seem like they would do some of the dumb things they end up doing. Which seems par for the course for this kind of movie, except The Cabin in the Woods dares to offer a justification as to why the victims would seemingly offer themselves up as fodder. There’s more here than meets the eye. Characters played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are part of a shadowy organization which makes everything much more complicated. This I guarantee: If you’ve only seen the ads, which paint the movie as your generic Halloween Saw Massacre deal, it is not that. At all.

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Listen to Episode 73, “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes”

I'm so blind I can't even watch this movie. Whew. Bullet dodged.

Gobbledygeek episode 73, “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes,” is available for listening or download right here.

For the final week of Gobbledyween, Paul revisits Paul W.S. Anderson’s magnum opus Event Horizon for the first time since theaters and AJ watches it for the very first time. Also probably the last. You see, it’s not very good. Unlike The Evil Dead, The Thing, and Dawn of the Dead, this one’s not so much a classic, but the boys still mine some discussion and humor from the proceedings. They also ponder the philosophical query: does one need clothes? As always, there are some Formspring questions to round things out.

Next: it’s a Bat-stravaganza as we tackle Batman: Arkham City and the new Batman: Year One animated film.

(Show notes for “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes.”)

Listen to Episode 70, “Join Us”

Gobbledygeek episode 70, “Join Us,” is available for listening or download right here.

This week, we get sad and silly. First, the boys say goodbye to Apple founder and tech visionary Steve Jobs. Then, to keep anyone from taking them too seriously, they kick off this year’s Gobbledygeek Halloween (Gobbledy’ween?) Film Festival with a ribald discussion of the Sam Raimi classic The Evil Dead. Also: AJ reviews the Wasikowska/Fassbender interpretation of Jane Eyre; Paul hints at what you can probably expect from the review of the Ethan Gilsdorf book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks he’s bound to do someday; and a slew of Formspring questions.

Next: we discuss John Carpenter’s The Thing.

(Show notes for “Join Us.”)

Listen to Episode 69, “Nerdgasm”

Gobbledygeek episode 69, “Nerdgasm,” is available for listening or download right here.

This week, Paul and AJ discuss Ernest Cline’s new book Ready Player One, which may as well be the geek manifesto of 2011. Dystopian future, an evil corporation, an immersive virtual world, 80’s pop culture references out the wazoo…yeah, it pretty much covers all the bases. AJ also offers his opinion of Drive to counter Paul’s, and reviews the indie film Terri. Plus Formspring questions!

Next: we begin our month-long horror-palooza with a discussion of The Evil Dead.

(Show notes for “Nerdgasm.”)

On DVD & Blu-Ray, 6/28/11: ‘Sucker Punch,’ ‘Barney’s Version,’ More

SUCKER PUNCH: Extended Cut (DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo)

Yep, here it is. This is the film that either destroyed any remnants of geek cred I may ever have had, or proved what a brilliant film viewer I really am. Why, you ask? Because, damn it, I liked this Zack Snyder joint. Ostensibly the story of Baby Doll (Emily Browning), an abused young woman put into an institution by her father and scheduled for a lobotomy, who travels to deeper and deeper levels of consciousness on an anime/video game/comic book-inspired quest to free herself and her fellow inmates. Pretty young things in barely-there clothing battling giant robot samurai, fire-breathing dragons, and steam-powered zombie Nazis. Given only that premise, and taking into account Snyder’s penchant for phantasmagoric, speed-ramped action sequences, this could have been a beautiful but vapid piece of hormone and adrenaline-fueled cinematic trash. But, as I infamously explained here, I believe there is much more to it than that. The Extended Cut features an additional 18 minutes of footage, a picture-in-picture commentary with director Snyder, and has been rated R, up from the theatrical PG-13.  – Paul Smith

(Originally reviewed by Paul, and much less favorably by myself, in “Ladylike.”)

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