Take a Look Inside My Head
The Cabin in the Woods Movie Review

     The Cabin in the Woods is an entertaining spin on the traditional or clichéd horror film. From writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, need I say more, this is not a film that anyone, especially horror fans, should pass up. It is difficult to describe the plot without spoiling the surprises that are in store, so I’ll leave it at this. In The Cabin in the Woods, five college types and their RV visit a remote cabin for a vacation of freedom and relaxation. They are stock characters: Jules (Anna Hutchinson) the “morally questionable” coed; Curt (Chris Hemsworth), the jock; Marty (Fran Kranz), the chronic stoner; and Dana (Kristen Connolly), the nerdy good girl. From the trailer you that events take a turn and two “behind-the-scenes” men begin orchestrating the gory events to take place. I really can not go deeper into the plot without placing mass spoilers. Just know that this is Joss Whedon and the movie poster tells it all “You think you know the story…” For those who do not understand what that means watch the film to find out.

      The Cabin in the Woods uses elements from multiple genres and no element ever seems out-of-place or overpowering in the film. You are giving the horror and fear when needed, and the movie delivers some of the funniest, yes there is comedy, dialogue and references to other horror classics that I’ve seen in a while. Joss Whedon has always had that the talent to take such diverse characters and make them click together. You can have great writing and great moments but you need an equally great cast to deliver these lines, and this film does not disappoint in that area either. Going into this I had only heard of two of the main actors; Chris Hemsworth from Thor and Fran Kranz (who stole the show) from Joss Whedon’s short-lived series Dollhouse. All the actors are fantastic throughout the film, they are all able to keep to their clichéd characters and deliver the moments set-up by Whedon and Goddard. I would love to talk about some of these moments but I refuse to spoil any details.

      This is all-around a fun and unpredictable movie. I was a bit worried going into this with how long the film stayed in post-production but the result was nothing less than spectacular. While I did have I few issues with the movie (again things I can’t talk about) they were tiny and few and far between. This is Joss Whedon at his finest and as Drew Goddards first directing gig I can’t wait to see what he does in the future. Any horror movie fan, Joss Whedon fan, or movie-goer needs to see this movie period. You will leave the theatre with a smile on your face and a DVD or Blu-ray you can’t wait to purchase. For myself, I’m going back to watch it again after my exams.

Final Score 9.5/10

"THE WOMAN IN BLACK" MOVIE REVIEW

The Woman in Black is a thriller directed by James Watkins based on 80`s novel written by Susan Hill. The story follows a young windowed lawyer name Arthur Kipps, played by former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who lives with his 4 year-old son Joseph and his nanny. Arthur is facing financial difficulty, pressured by his employer he takes a job handling an estate in the village of Eel Marsh which was owned by the deceased Alice Drablow. When Kipps get to the town you immediately get the sense that something isn’t right. The villagers are rather skeptic and seem to behave irrationally. Arthur meets and makes friends with a wealthy landowner name Sam Daily, who at first insists that Arthur leaves the village hiring a stage coach to take him back to the train station. Arthur refuses and heads to the estate in the marshes. He learns that Alice had lived there with her husband, son Nathanial, and her sister Jennet Humfrye. During his first stay at the house he repeatedly hears footsteps and when he looks out of the window he sees the a Woman in Black. When he goes to the Police station back in town to tell the constable what he had witnessed, two young brothers carry there sister in the station and ask for help. You find out that the girl had drank lye (better known as sodium hydroxide), and she dies in Arthur’s arms after spitting up blood. After these events Arthur becomes the target for the blame from the town villagers. They tell him that he should have left and they try to prevent him, unsuccessfully, from going back to the marsh. Here he learns of the villagers superstition that about the “Woman in Black,” when someone sees her, a child will die.

This isn’t your typically all out horror or thriller film, and anyone who is planning on seeing this should take this into consideration if that is what they like in there films. “The Woman in Black” trades the in your face gore kills for a more eery and chilling feeling throughout the film. While this is a nice change from the in your face or constant found footage films that are becoming a fad; it does kind of leave you wanting a little more by the end. Lets start with the good, right off the bat the set design is amazing. When you enter the town of Eel Marsh and especially the estate you get this sense of eeriness and fear. This can come from the smog to the creepy children’s toys that lay in the house, especially when they start going off by themselves. One of the main reasons I wanted to see this film was to see Daniel Radcliffe in his first movie role after the Harry Potter series. I have seen clips of his broadway work and was quite surprised with how good he was. He does not disappoint in this film, he really carries all the weight on his shoulders. He`s very convincing as a character who isn`t Harry Potter, even though it might be hard for some viewers to see him outside the Potter role (someone in the theatre shouted Expelliamus). I am excited to see what`s next to Daniel, since he has proved that he can act in a variety of different roles from Harry Potter to Arthur Kipps.

There wouldn`t be positives without negatives. While Daniel Radcliffe played a great role, there didn`t really seem to be a strong supporting cast in the film. Some of the villagers seemed a bit awkward, like it was their first time being on camera or having lines. The Sam Daily character was portrayed in a alright manner, but he seemed like a character that would have been more interesting if played by the likes of Stephen Fry or Gary Oldman, just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the actor he just didn’t seem to fit the part as well as he could have. What this movie does right in the terms of “scares” is what i would call chill scares, giving you only glimpse of fear and having you build up and anticipate what happens next. What I don’t like is the reliance, especially in the first 45 mins, of jump scares. In a couple of scenes they worked, such as the window but I won’t spoil it, but they seem to use them too much that they became obvious and couldn’t create the fear intended. They didn’t need to do this, they should have stuck with anticipation building with only giving you small glimpses of the Woman in Black, which they did, and not ruin that built up fear with the jump scares. In the end when you they reveal her the audience could release the built up tension all in one heart-pounding moment. If that were the case and it was done well enough, I might be able to give this movie a higher score.

If you want to go see a horror film that is gory, in your face, or is going to scare the pants off you so that you won`t be able to sleep; sadly you won’t get it here. That doesn’t mean it`s a bad movie by any means. It`s a very average film, I don`t hate it but I wouldn’t see it in theatres again. If you want to experience a different kind of thriller movie then what has been coming out recently or want to see Daniel Radcliffe in a film outside Harry Potter, then go see this movie just don’t expect to be scared. If you aren’t to sure about this movie then wait for it to come out on DVD or Blu-ray. Either way I do recommend that people find a way to watch this movie at least once for it was an alright movie and Daniel Radcliffe proves that he is not a typecast actor.

FINAL SCORE 7/10

My new rant

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review

 Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a reboot of the 1968 science fiction series. This reboot is directed by Rupert Wyvatt and stars James Franco as Will Rodman a scientist pharmaceutical company Gen-Sys who has been trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by testing a genetically engineered virus on chimpanzees. The virus mutates the chimpanzee’s giving them a higher state of intelligence, such as recognizing patterns and completing puzzle in the minimal amount of moves. They brightest test subject named Bright Eyes is about to go and present her newly acquired skills to a board where Will is purposing that the retrovirus begins it’s rounds on human testing. Instead Bright Eyes goes on a rampage and is killed while Will is making his presenting the cure. Will’s boss Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) orders chimp handler Robert Franklin (Tyler Labine) to put all the test chimpanzees down; Franklin cannot bring himself to kill the baby chimp and instead gives him to Will. His father names him Caesar (played by motion capture actor Andy Serkis) and Will raises him in his house. Will finds that Caesar has inherited his mother’s high intelligence and learns and develops quickly and he often takes Caesar to the Redwood which will play an important role later on.

 Throughout the next few years Will tested the virus on his father Charlie (John Lithgow) who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. At first he improves then eventually his immune system fights the virus and his dementia comes back stronger then before. When Caesar sees Charlie being “bullied” by there neighbor who is in the process of calling the police on Charlie after he went into the neighbours car, an act caused by his Alzheimer’s, Caesar runs to his “rescue” and attacks the neighbour. Caesar is sent san Bruno Primate Sanctuary run by John Landon (Brian Cox), where the apes are treated cruelly by the chief guard, Landon’s son Dodge (Tom Felton). Caesar is not only treated poorly by the humans but also by the apes, especially the alpha-male Rocket. Caesar also meets Maurice (Karin Konoval), a circus orangutan who has learned sign language and can thereby communicate with Caesar. When Dodge brings unauthorized visitors into the facility, one of them gets too close to Career’s cage and is grabbed by Caesar, who steals a pocket knife and uses it to unlock and escape his cell. Caesar then frees a gorilla kept in solitary confinement named Buck (Richard Ridings); with his grateful assistance, Caesar gains dominance over the other apes.

 Will in the meantime is working on a advanced version of the virus to continue to treat his father and Jacobs excited that the fact that the first version  of the virus had worked until Charlie’s immune system fought the virus, allowed testing on the apes again. Results testing the virus on the ape Koba (Christopher Gordon) reveals that it strengthens the intelligence of the apes even further. Franklin is exposed to the new virus and begins sneezing blood. Attempting to contact Will at his home, he accidentally sneezes on Hunsiker, and is later discovered dead in his apartment.  Realizing that the virus is fatal to humans; Will attempts to warn Jacobs against further testing, but when Jacobs refuses, Will quits his job. After Charles’ death, a determined Will bribes the elder Landon into releasing Caesar into his custody, but Caesar refuses to leave with him. Later, Caesar escapes from the primate facility on his own and returns to Will’s house where he steals canisters of the new virus and releases it throughout the cage area, enhancing the intelligence of all his fellow apes. Caesar begins an uprising and the apes will escape entrapment.

  When I first heard that they were making a new Planet of the Apes movie I immediately remembered the embarrassment of the 2001 remake of the original series. This movie is different though serving as a origin story for the rebooted series. One of the greatest things about this film is even though they don’t speak (except for some sign language), you can clearly tell the personalities and individualism’s of the main apes. Andy Serkis as Caesar is beautifully executed, all the facial animations of Caesar is the acting of Andy Serkis. The writers truly make you feel sympathetic for the apes and you want to see the humans get what they deserve. You see the inner evils and greediness of the humans, you truly will despise them by the end. The motion capture is some of the best to date and the apes look very real. None of the makeups did as good as job as the motion capture did at creating real ape behavior and also by not making them talk I think was a smart move. I don’t think making them be able to speak would make it very realistic which seems to be more of the way the film tries to go with rather than a fantasy. The Bottom line is this is a very good story driven film that includes great special effects and matches the original and is one of the best films of 2011. I am looking forward to a sequel in the future is they stay close to the format they have chosen for this film.

FINAL SCORE: 9/10

christianwitch:

SUPPORT: J.K Rowling

Hermione, the girl that hit the boys.