A movie about a group of college kids who go to a remote cabin—a jock, a scholarship jock, a stoner and some hot girls, one a brainiac, one a party girl—complete with a dangerous hillbilly type, mysterious incantations and lines like “No matter what, we have to stay together,” sounds very familiar. Like a thousand teen chillers we’ve seen before, but add in a secret government agency, ancient evil life forms and other surprises (you’ll get no spoilers here) and you have the best mash-up of horror and humor since “Scream.”
All I will tell you about the plot is this: five college friends go to a cabin in the woods. Then all hell breaks loose. All the conventions of the teen horror genre are here, but turned upside down.
The pleasure of “Cabin in the Woods” is in the not knowing, so excuse the brief synopsis. Go in fresh and be surprised.
I can tell you there has never been a slasher flick quite like “Cabin.” The subversive mix of horror movie lore—“The virgin’s death is optional.”—post modern self awareness and gruesome gags isn’t new but rarely has it been this smartly presented.
Like romantic comedy, horror is a genre that frequently takes the easy way out. By the time we got to “Saw 3478: A Stab in the Dark” the movies were more about how many gallons of stereoscopic blood could be squirted toward the audience than creating a new, intriguing story.
Conversely “Cabin in the Woods” screenwriters Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (who also directed) have crafted a film that is exhilarating in the way it adopts and then challenges the conventions of the form. They even have fun with J-horror with hilarious results.
Expect Whedon’s trademark crackling dialogue. Expect gallons of blood. Expect to be challenged. Expect the unexpected.
What to watch when you’ve already watched everything Part Eight! Binge worthy, not cringe worthy recommendations from Isolation Studios in the eerily quiet downtown Toronto. Three movies to stream, rent or buy from the comfort of home isolation. Today, a strange biography, lovestruck bank robbers and a cabin in the woods. #ALiarsBiographyTheUntrueStoryofMontyPythonsGrahamChapman #TheTown #ACabinInTheWoods
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Ryan Gosling’s as astronaut Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Ryan Gosling’s take on Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard has a look at Ryan Gosling’s as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Six years ago writer/director Drew Goddard deconstructed the slasher movie genre with the whimsical and exhilarating “Cabin in the Woods.” A mash-up of horror and humour, of post-modern self-awareness and gruesome gags, it simultaneously adopted and challenged the conventions of the slasher genre. He returns to the big screen—his day job is writing, producing and directing TV shows like “Daredevil” and “The Good Place”—with “Bad Times at the El Royale,” an inversion of a 1990s broken timeline crime drama.
The El Royale is the kind of seedy hotel that dotted the highways and byways of 1960s America. Split down the middle by the California/Nevada border, it’s a perfect slice of mid-century kitsch, like the same guy who decked out Elvis’s rec room designed it. When we first lay eyes on it a shady character (Nick Offerman) with a bulging suitcase and a gun wrenches up the floorboards and hides a case of money before replacing the carpet and the furniture. It’s an act that establishes the El Royale as a home-away-from-home for transients and ne’er-do-wells and sets up much of the action to come.
As for the action to come, you’ll have to go see the film to find out what happens. I will tell you that the film takes place ten years after the suitcase was hidden in the hotel and begins with a disparate group of folks checking in well after the El Royale’s heyday. There’s slick talking vacuum cleaner salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), Reno-bound singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a priest with tired eyes and hippie chick Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson). All three pay front desk manager Miles (Lewis Pullman) the $8 deposit and take to their rooms.
Secrets are revealed about the guests and the hotel as an aura of menace clouds the sunny California/Nevada border. “We’re in a bit of a pickle,” says Father Flynn in what may be the understatement of the year.
Goddard takes his time setting up the narrative drive of “Bad Times at the El Royale.” He bobs and weaves, playing with time, slowly revealing the intricacies of the story. For the patient—it runs two hours and 21 minutes—it’s a heck of a ride but may prove too opaque for casual viewers. Large conspiracies are hinted at, secrets are kept and no one is really who they seem to be. For those willing to submit to the grimly funny and admittedly indulgent proceedings, it’s a Tarantino-esque web of intrigue and unexpected violence that plays both as a crime drama and a metaphor for the decay of 1960s idealism.
“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a good movie filled with bad people. It asks you to care about people who do terrible things and by the end, thanks to inventive storytelling and good performances—Erivo is s standout—you just might.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Ryan Gosling’s giant leap as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Welcome to the House of Crouse. Set in a world where regular folks still open the door for rattily dressed kids selling magazines, American Honey is a road trip about families lost and families found, about poverty and disenfranchised youth. We tale to the stars Riley Keough and Sasha Lane. Then, from the vault just in time for Halloween, we have Drew Goddard talking about his amazingly good and amazingly underrated 2011 movie Cabin in the Woods. C’mon in and sit a spell!