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April 20th, 2012

Movie Review - Cabin In The Woods

Cabin In The Woods

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker, Anna Hutchinson, Jesse Williams, Brian White, Tom Lenk, Sigorney Weaver, Jodelle Ferland, and more. 

Directed by: Drew Goddard Written by: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard Original Music by: David Julyan

Premise: Two couples and a fifth wheel go off to spend the weekend at an isolated cabin. Unbeknownst to them, there are people watching, people who know these college students are about to die and are willing to go to any lengths to make it happen. (Rated R)


Memorable Quote: "Let's get this party started!"

1) Acting - Thumbs Up - A lot of actors whose work I enjoy graced this movie - Amy Acker and Fran Kranz, who've been part of other Joss Whedon productions; Sigorney Weaver from the Alien films and Avatar; and Jodelle Ferland, who is an expert at looking like a creepy little girl. Acting veterans Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins made a great team as the project leads. I must give Kristen Connolly kudos for the 'truth or dare' make out scene. I wanted to applaud as heartily as her mates did. Tim De Zarn was creepy as could be and hilarious during the phone conversation scene. 

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up - Someone had a lot of fun making lots and lots of blood and then coming up with interesting ways to splash it around. Towards the end, the blood made wonderful statements without the need for words. Kudos for the beautiful eagle scene not far from the beginning of the film. The motorcycle jump was superb. Some of the entities seen later in the film were definitely fabulous.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up - The beauty of this film was the story. A slowly unfolding set of events with hints given throughout as to what was being done and why. Many tongue-in-cheek moments as Mutant Enemy took this genre and others and played with the usual cliches and twisted them, made them into something new, or forced them to happen as those in the film were not falling for it. (I can't say too much. The film is better appreciated by knowing as little as possible before hand.) There are a ton of genre related in-jokes as well. 

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up - Some real and some CGI locations but all outstanding. I loved the play with camera angles, especially on the final approach to the cabin. The scene with the eagle was beautiful and breathtaking. The panning back sequence from the elevator said all there needed to be said. They did a nice job with the cabin as well. Looked pretty much like a dump on the outside and surprisingly decent, and weird, in the inside. 

5) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up - The guys will very much enjoy the costuming for the two college coed leads. The makeup for the undead was well done. The makeup for Phantasm's cousin even more so.   

Conclusion: If you're a fan of Joss Whedon or a fan of horror movies, this is for you. Modern horror movie fans may find it a little tame, but the deviation from the norm will make it totally worth it. 

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (No Hubby Rating This Week)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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