“The Cabin in the Woods” Blu-Ray Review
"The Cabin in the Woods" comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD today even though it has been available for digital download for a couple weeks now. Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, this movie turns the horror genre on it's head. The cabin horror movie has been done countless times, but never has anyone tried to explain why this evil always seems to find the unsuspecting group of kids, and why those kids always seem to make the dumbest decisions, which ultimately lead to them getting brutally slaughtered... Well this movie tries, and succeeds where nobody else has gone before.
Since I've already reviewed the movie itself once before, when I saw it in the theaters, I'm going to just post up a snippet of what I've already written so we can dive into the actual Blu-Ray disc itself.
So basic premise, 5 stereotypical people in their mid-20?s head out to a family members’ cabin for the weekend where they are eventually hunted down and picked off one-by-one. Sounds like the plot of every other “cabin in the woods”-type movie, but it’s not. There’s much more to it than these kids realize. They are actually being driven towards certain choices by a pair of guys in a command center deep below them. This is the part of the movie that I can see a lot of people getting turned off by. It takes most of what happens at the cabin and turns it on its head, creating more of an unrealistic scenario as opposed to trying to stay grounded. But I promise that if you just take the movie as it comes and don’t expect it to be one thing or another, you will enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun, entertaining, funny and gruesome all at the same time. Notice how I left “scary” out of there. Yes, it is a horror movie and yes, there are some scary parts, but the overall theme and pacing of the movie isn’t that scary… it’s just plain fun. So take it for what it is and don’t try to make it into something you want it to be or something you expect it to be. That’s the whole point of the movie, it’s not the horror movie you’ve seen re-hashed over and over again for the last 10 years. So if you’re looking for a fresh look at the horror genre that isn’t all about the blood, guts and torture and doesn’t have totally moronic kids running straight into murderous situations, then this movie is just what you’re looking for. It’s sleek, it’s sexy, it’s funny and it’s a lot of fucking fun.
I would tell you more regarding why these kids are being put into a situation where they have to die, but then I'd ruin the surprise. Don't worry, everything is explained in the end, although the ending may not have been what you wanted it to be, it's still satisfying and I've already gone back and watched the Blu-Ray 2 more times since I received it. So turn off your brain, take a hit, and enjoy "The Cabin in the Woods".
Now it's time to get into the technical side of things, the reasons you read a review of the Blu-ray disc and not the movie itself. The video is presented in 2.40:1 1080P and looks flawless. This movie is really dark at times so it's important that the transfer be able to clearly show us what is happening during those dark scenes... when they want to. There are some moments where things go a bit on the dark side, but it's clearly done on purpose to provide the atmosphere for the flick. I mean, it wouldn't be a good horror movie if there were some points where things were just so dark that we didn't know when something was going to pop out at us, or from where. My only complaint about the quality of the video is the CGI near the end. Some of the creatures look a bit cartoony for me and I'm not sure if that was intentional, but it's always a pet peeve of mine when things don't look like they belong.
The 7.1 DTS-HD audio will blow you out of your seats, especially when the title appears on the screen. Everything sounds amazing here, all the voices are audible and the atmosphere is created perfectly. There are so many little details and noises at the end of the flick, but it's amazing how well everything is woven together to create an ambiance that makes you feel like you're right there.
There are a decent amount of special features on the disc. Your typical Picture-in-picture mode called "It's not what you think: The Cabin in the Woods Bonus View Mode" which features the cast and crew talking about the movie as it players through, essentially it's like a commentary track but within a very small window in the corner. Which leads into the next feature, a commentary track. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard sit down to discuss the movie in your typical Joss Whedon-fashion. It's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the flick or a fan of Whedon and Goddard's work.
"We Are Not Who We Are: The Making of The Cabin in the Woods" runs about 30 minutes long and gives a bit more incite into Whedon/Goddard's thought process as they wrote and created this flick. I found it quite interesting to hear how they decided on certain things and what made them do other things. There's also a few interviews with the cast of the flick as well. It still amazes me how these foreign actors can just turn off their accent when asked. "The Secret Secret Stash" is 13 minutes of Fran Kranz (Marty) showing us all of the different pot smoking paraphernalia used in the movie. It was kind of cool, but didn't blow me away. "An Army of Nightmares: Makeup and Animatronic Effects" and "Primal Terror: Visual Effects" take a look at just that, all of the special effects that went into the flick. It's amazing how much the effects team had to create for creatures that you really only see on TV screens in the backgrounds and stuff like that. Tons and tons of work went into creatures that were never even seen fully during the movie, just amazing. And finally, aside from the trailer, we have "Wonder-Con Q&A", which is exactly what it says, the Q&A panel from Wonder-Con for the flick.
So there you have it "The Cabin in the Woods" is finally out on Blu-Ray and DVD. Bottom line, buy this movie if you're a fan of horror flicks and are looking for something fun and original to check out. The replay value on this flick is there, so there's no reason not to actually purchase it. I've already watched it 2 more times since I received the blu-ray!