Tagged: cabin in the woods
M. Night Shyamalan Doesn’t ‘KNOCK AT THE CABIN’ Hard Enough!
Oh M. Night Shyamalan I always return to you! Yes he really got a hold on me ever since the ‘Sixth Sense’ and never really let go. I’m always willing to give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt on whatever he decides to get behind. I can still remember the very first time I saw the Sixth Sense in the theater and was completely blown away. Then he brought us my favorite of his films, ‘Unbreakable’. M. Night stayed pretty consistent in my opinion all the way up until ‘The Happening’. Yes, I really do like ‘Lady in the Water’! DEAL with IT!
He had a few misses there but came back STRONG in 2015 with ‘The Visit’, then ‘Split’ and ‘Glass’ (which I loved) but then imo quickly returned right back to poor form with ‘Old’. Now hes back with ‘Knock at the Cabin’ which sadly is yet another big miss for Mr. Night. Of course, to his credit, all of his films are beautifully shot and well acted but that alone just don’t cut the mustard for his latest endeavor!
Probably the best thing about this movie is the group of strong protagonists, a gay couple and their adopted daughter who’re renting a cabin in the woods. This trio had so much potential to shine, as they’re all really well acted, likable characters that I was hoping would be in a far more compelling horror thriller. Unfortunately I’m sad to say, if you’ve seen Knock at the Cabin’s trailer you’ve basically seen the entire damn movie. Yeah, there’s not much to be said, as it’s sort of feels like a “cliff note” version of the film. Whoever made the decision to release it this way made a serious misstep. Nothing much more of real interest actually happens and it’s a pretty standard paint by number plot. That’s not to say that he always needs to incorporate a “twist” into his pictures. In this there was too much revealed and not enough diversion from the trailer. I was really hoping the movie might move in more interesting directions, hoping perhaps the cabin scenario might be just the first third of the film’s plot, as it was a good set up-the movie never took us much of anywhere else relying on a few flashbacks and tv broadcasts to try and fill in the void on the one location premise.
‘Knock at the Cabin’ doesn’t really bring much of anything else to the table of interest and it certainly doesn’t switch paths to any sort of unexpected narrative. Sure there is a thick hazy fog of tension looming throughout it’s run time but M. Night decided to (spoiler) change the ending drastically into something far more tame and much less interesting than the book it was based on. I gotta confess I’ve never read the book but I knew exactly where this movie was going every step of the way, which is not the way you want to experience an M. Night Shyamalan flick.
That seems to be the big problem, M. Night started out with arguably his greatest film of all time and ever since then he really hasn’t been able to live up to the intensity & mystery of The Sixth Sense. Every time I go to the theater to see one of his films I’m hoping that what he’s going to give me will rival his early films. That’s not an easy task for a filmmaker to achieve 24 years after a crowning achievement with one of the best movie twists in cinematic history. Watching his movies can be difficult when you’re yearning for the movie to pull out the big guns in the plot. What I wish for honestly at this point would be for M. Night to just simply direct some high level horror scripts, ones that he DIDN’T write himself. He’s an incredible director but at this point hes just sort of hit the wall idea wise. I’d love for him to take us to a true ‘R Rated’ level of horror, completely take the gloves off and give us something truly terrifying. His first venture into R-Rated horror was truly pathetic with ‘The Happening’. Knock at the Cabin starts off strong with a great small cast but quickly meander into mediocrity. Truth be told I didn’t even realize his latest film was ‘R Rated’, it felt pretty tame and maybe he needed to amp up the horror/red stuff a few notches to make his mark this time? Where does this film stand in the scope of his filmography? Here’s my ranking:
2: The Sixth Sense
4: The Visit
7: The Village
8: Lady in the Water
9: Knock at the Cabin
10: The Happening
11: After Earth
13: The Last Airbender
I’ve never seen Praying with Anger (1992) or Wide Awake (1998) but I have heard they SUCK! What’s YOUR ranking?
FROSTBITER: Hyperactive Holiday Horror Viewing Straight Out of the 80s!
Wow!! We’re getting SO close to the big day-yes Christmas 2021 will soon be here, so why not mix it up this year with some weird holiday shit instead of the same old cinema? It can be ruff finding new snow packed holiday flicks each season to rock out to. But I think some of the usual holiday suspects need a break this year. I mean you can only watch ‘John Denver and The Muppets Christmas’ special so many times right? That being said here’s a fave of mine that’s got the chops to get the bloody holiday party started right!!
‘Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo’ is non stop craziness & a ton of fucking fun. This sweet little indie Michigan based snowbound horror flick was filmed way back in 1988 but sat on the cold dusty shelves for nearly a decade. It wasn’t released until 1996 when Troma decided to finally unveil this little gnarly beast out there to the general public. I’m not always the hugest fan of Troma stuff but this one was an independent production first and then only distributed by them later & good on them for doing so. It’s a snowy, low budget, splatter gem in the same arena as ‘Evil Dead 2’ and just as genuinely ambitious.
It also stars Ron Asheton, famed guitar legend of The Stooges, who had a short but sweet run in some pretty excellent little horror movies during this time period like ‘Legion of the Night’ & ‘Mosquito’. Both of those most definitely deserve a watch if you haven’t seen them yet! Frostbiter doesn’t skimp any of it’s excellent cheezball horror fx here either, it has a bunch of ridiculous puppets, bad ass stop motion monsters, gooey slimey gore and buckets of the red stuff.
None of this can be taken too incredibly seriously as the general spirit of the movie is pretty playful and IMO the perfect pick for a group of rowdy drunk holiday party goers. Though not an outright “Christmas” movie it does have some holiday leanings that fit it firmly in the specific genre quite nicely. First it all takes place in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, where ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is set and even features segments of that particular film throughout. Secondly it’s clearly filmed in the frigid cold forests of the midwest and is jam packed with plenty of snow. We get a wild gang of redneck hunters all together in a dusty cold cabin where monsters spawn from pots of chili!
t’s got a pretty cool soundtrack as well that features an exclusive song about said chili! To make matters worse these these moronic hunters thankfully manage to awaken the evil spirit of the famed native american beast of the Wendigo! Yes & for a budget of ten thousand bucks this one is way more slimey fun than It has any right being.
I really did appreciate how much effort was put into this thing with all of the wild and crazy z-grade special fx pulled out of the rickety tool box. Sure it’s clearly a bit of an Evil Dead rip off, with this frantic tale taking place similarly in a snowy cabin in the woods as well. However it’s got enough of its own identity and charm to put itself uniquely into a category of its own.
If anything it’s most definitely worth it for its wild wintery finale when the Wendigo rears its gigantic head in a bonkers stop motion animation showdown. Oh yeah, spike the eggnog hard and roll yourself a nice fat one to pass around cuz this one will deliver the damn goods this Christmas for a ravenous gang of cinemaniacs! The perfect party movie & likely a new holiday season ritual, This movie needs way more attention and most definitely a fancy ass blu ray release!
The Best Horror Comedy Trailer of the Year ‘Hands’ Down!
So maybe I’m a little late to the party here but over the weekend I saw this amazing trailer to a movie that doesn’t really exist, and I hope it stays that way! This was released back in October but somehow I missed it. It’s easily one of the most ridiculously funny things I’ve seen all year.
Yep check out the trailer for “Handjob Cabin” a horror story about a ghost who’ll give you the time of your life…until you’re dead! This one looks and feels like a real movie with a budget however don’t hold your breath I don’t think you’ll be seeing this in theaters anytime ever. If you missed this one like I did check it out or heck, watch it again and again!
‘EXISTS’ is a Movie That Finally Makes Bigfoot Terrifying!!!
I love Bigfoot and the idea that somewhere out there in the woods there just might be an elusive creature roaming the woods that we truly don’t understand thrills me. Anytime I see a new Bigfoot story in the news I hope and pray that it’s one that finally proves to the world that this creature truly exists. Until that day comes that there’s definitive proof I’ll just have live this Sasquatch fantasy through grainy youtube vids and hearsay from “expert squatch hunters”. Now though at least we’ve gotten a great Bigfoot horror flick that finally makes Sasquatch scary thanks to Blair With Project director Eduardo Sanchez! His latest film ‘Exists’ which is out on several platforms like Googleplay, Itunes, VOD is one helluva nerve bending terror ride in the woods!
I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while as Sanchez has proven he’s got the chops time and time again in the directors chair. Unfortunately the down side of this flick (at least for me) is that he decides to go the “found footage” route. Yeah he may be considered the king of this genre because of ‘Blair Witch’ but I’ve gotta be honest, I’m fucking bored to death of this medium of film making. When I accepted that fact and sucked it up I truly began to see how effective of a horror flick he has delivered! There’s been quite a few flicks that have tried this over the last few years, The Lost Coast Tapes, Willow Creek, Bigfoot Country, The Woodsman to name a few. If you’re gonna see just one, see it from the master because ‘Exists’ will make you squirm in your seat and piss your britches!
Exists suffers and excels at the same time with a very simple premise: a group of twenty somethings head out for a weekend in the woods at the family cabin (sound familiar?) and on the way in they hit something with their truck. The film starts out with a great sequence here as one of the guys just happens to be obsessed with filming a Youtube video that goes viral. So of course this guy’s always filming, you know like ALL the time. But because we get a simple premise we also get a nonstop balls out ongoing confrontation with motherfuckin’ Bigfoot! That’s the good and that’s really all this film is trying to give us. Really what we have here is the ‘Jaws’ of Bigfoot flicks and that’s perfectly fine with me.
If these creatures are truly territorial then I imagine this here is exactly what it’d be like to fight for your life against one in woods. The incredibly creepy sounds the monster makes also seem to be pretty in line with some of the audio recordings by Bigfoot researchers, making me think Sanchez did his homework before doing this flick. There are so many terrifying sequences here, like the bike chase and the cabin break in scene (to name a couple) that got my heart racing to levels they haven’t risen too this last year!
What’s really great is Sanchez unlike the rest of found footage Bigfoot flicks doesn’t hide the monster, in fact you get a good look at him several times especially in the last five minutes or so. Sasquatch looks great too as he hired Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop to design the look of the creature, I still though think Harry from Harry and the Hendersons is the best squatch put to the big screen (sorry Eduardo!). I think this one would’ve been ten times better had Sanchez skipped the “found footage” and just given us a straight up “movie”. But still definitley check this movie out it’s a ton of terrifying fun and will most likely please the hardcore Bigfoot fanatics as well!!
The Cabin in the Woods – Go See it NOW!!
It’s no doubt to me that I have seen two of the BEST movies this year at the theater in the span of a week! How often does that happen? Last week I was lucky enough to catch “The Raid: Redemption” which will easily be the best action movie of the year or maybe even the past decade. This Saturday I saw “Cabin in the Woods” and was blown away!
What an awesome original idea for a movie. I know, I know you think it’s just another Evil Dead rip off? Wrong. It’s not at all what I expected, though to say it doesn’t share some similarities with Evil Dead wouldn’t be true. However it’s something truly of it’s own. I did a blog a couple weeks ago about wishing for Hollywood to kick out something original instead of remakes and rehashes. Well this movie is a prime example of what I wished for in every way. A fresh, inventive slice of cinema.
Now I am not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. What I can say is that it best that you know as little as possible about this one if you plan to see it. I purposely avoided reading reviews for this before I saw it and it really did make the experience that much better! So stay away from spoilers for as long as you can!
What I will say here is that it’s a comic book, sci fi, horror fan’s wet dream in every way imaginable. It’s a funny, scary, exciting, gory , unique adventure-with some great twists along the way. The effects are brilliant as well, straying as far as possible from CG schlock as it can. Most of the film has a highly organic vibe to it and when there is any CG it’s used only when needed and tastefully at that. We all know that Hemsworth stars in the movie and I can’t help but think they waited strategically to release this movie, as it was made a couple years ago, to cash in on his Avengers/Thor star power. My question is where does The Cabin in the Woods go from here? I can only hope it doesn’t spawn any un-needed sequels and if it does it better have the same creative team of Whedon & Goddard. Personally I think this movie is best left alone as a one shot. It just can’t get any better than this!
My New Favorite TV Series? Most Likely!
I just simply cannot believe that up until a few minutes ago I had never heard of the Canadian TV series “Todd and The Book of Pure Evil”! I was just on Fangoria checking out another amazing review for the upcoming Joss Whedon horror flick “Cabin in the Woods” (which I am definitely going to see next month) when I stumbled upon the ad for the “Book of Pure Evil” that said “Out Now on Dvd” so I did a quick search and watched some clips from it-it looks so awesome!
My question why has this slipped under my radar for so long? It looks like it was released in the United States last August on Fearnet, so it’s quite possible that since I don’t have cable tv and don’t plan on getting it ever, that it wasn’t in my cards to see this until it was released on dvd. Anyway I am pumped as this show looks full of monsters and mayhem-and even better yet they used all old school monster effects and little to no CG. As I watched the trailer I kept thinking “Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer” and I came to find out that it’s the effects team that was involved in that movie that worked on the first season.
Here’s the official synopsis tell me it doesn’t sound rad:
Todd, Curtis, Jenny, and Hannah are students at Crowley High, the only high school in a small town secretly founded by Satanists. After encountering a cursed magical tome with a mind of its own, the Book of Pure Evil, which grants the wishes of those who hold it in dark and sinister ways they didn’t intend, they team up in an attempt to track down and destroy the Book.
It sounds and looks like something any Buffy fan is bound to love and you can see the resemblance of the book as it heavily borrows from Evil Dead II-crazy how much that movie continues to influence the genre-I will be checking this out asap-I suggest if you’re a late bloomer like me on this series that you should do the same!