The Cabin in the Woods

With the release of the DVD edition of The Cabin in the Woods there are bound to be all kinds of reviews for the film. And I have done … absolutely none of that.

Instead, I reviewed Tim Lebbon’s novelization of the film and The Complete Visual Companion to the film for Innsmouth Free Press.

For the record, I also saw the film when it hit theatres, and enjoyed it immensely. It’s a fascinating piece of work. Not, admittedly, the kind of film I’d sit through again, I think, despite the excellence of the performances, the meta-narrative script, and some marvelous Whedonesque dialogue. It’s highly intelligent, but I think in the end it was just too ugly to go through again; I don’t watch a lot of straight horror films in general, and I buy still fewer.

Which, when you think about it, is interesting, because I read a fair amount of horror material for review, and a reasonable amount of what I write could be deemed “horror” as well.

Still, I think once was enough. But for those of you who love any combination of Joss Whedon or Drew Goddard’s work, horror films, or meta-fictional narratives, The Cabin in the Woods is well worth picking up.

Enjoy the review.

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2 Responses to The Cabin in the Woods

  1. Ada Hoffmann says:

    Re horror movies vs horror books – I react that way too, which is why I haven’t seen “Cabin” despite loving Joss’s work.

    I think there’s a fundamental difference between reading something and actually seeing it happen in all its visual details. Just two completely different levels of viscerality. (Comic books, for me, are somewhere in between.)

    • I’d have to agree about the degree of visceral impact visual versus written horror produces. And, yes, graphic novels and comics are kind of middle ground in that respect. Although, every once in a while I encounter a written work that can be particularly hard to stomach as well.

      Take, for example, Gary McMahon’s “The Concrete Grove”, which I’ve been reading recently. “The Concrete Grove” is atmospheric and otherworldly horror with some well-handled, very grounded, real-world horror in the midst of a fascinatingly supernatural or supranatural tale. But every once in a while McMahon will describe something incredibly graphic, and those sequences are hard to take because they stand out so starkly against the rest of the narrative in which McMahon is evoking the terror of anticipation, as opposed to wallowing in gore. Not to mention that McMahon applies his excellent descriptive capabilities to these more difficult sequences as well. For instance, the scene in which McMahon describes one character systematically ripping their own face off comes to mind. Now, I have a fairly high tolerance for gore (I don’t relish in it, but I can read it if I have to), and reading that I was having a hard time keeping down my gorge.

      So, in the hands of a master craftsperson it is possible for written horror to be just as visceral as the more purely visual or cinematic variety.

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