Tag Archives: The Cabin in the Woods

The Most Overused Movie-Based Costumes Ever (and the Ones We’d Like to See More Of)

Costume_MainHalloween comes with the opportunity to ditch your typical attire and get creative. Why blow it? Here, 10 overused looks to avoid and 10 getups we want to see you in this year.


Even as someone who’s proud to dub Scream a favorite film of all-time, the Ghostface costumes just have to stop. The getup was an eerie, novel new look when the film first hit, but now it doesn’t matter if you go for the classic Scream model, the silly Scary Movie edition, or even the one showered in blood. It’s all been done before. Many, many times before.

Michael Myers

Michael Myers has been around since John Carpenter’s Halloween arrived back in 1978, so the costume craze was and is inevitable, but the bigger problem with this look is that it’s become so commercial. A hulking, unkempt, and deftly defined Michael in the film is horrifying, but slap on a bright blue jumpsuit and a pristine white mask and you’ll look more like a cartoon character than a ruthless killer.

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Perri’s Top Movies 10 of 2012

Top-Ten-of-2012-PerriWhile the large majority can come to an agreement on whether or not a film is good or bad, or pinpoint a particular element that exemplifies skillful filmmaking, for me, the reviewing process is still very personal. Some moviegoers prefer horror while others go for romance, some don’t mind a tearjerker while others would rather keep their emotions to themselves, and then there are the times when you just happen to walk into a movie and it strikes a chord because you just experienced something similar. Well, I certainly can’t speak to your big screen preferences, but I’m thrilled to share mine, a top ten that I’ve populated with quality films that have thrilled, entertained and/or moved me enough to make them some of my best memories of 2012.

Wouldn’t it be fun to grow up on New Penzance and run off into the woods with a cute boy and kitten in a bag? Well, I’m a little too old for a Khaki Scout, but at least I can live vicariously through Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop’s budding young romance in “Moonrise Kingdom.” While I do recognize most of Wes Anderson’s work as quality filmmaking, I often have trouble adjusting to his wildly unique characters and environments enough to establish a genuine connection to the material. However, in the case of “Moonrise Kingdom,” Anderson’s bold and beautiful style is as evident as ever, and while he paints a picture of an amusingly heightened reality, Sam and Suzy’s relationship is so charming and honest, it grounds the film just enough to offer up the best of both worlds and that left the doors wide open to come in and become wholly immersed in this world.
Great Quote: “Your girlfriend stabbed me in the back with lefty scissors.”
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I love my sister very much, but, of course, we butt heads a bit – quite a bit, really – so the fact that “Your Sister’s Sister” had me running home after the credits, eager to tell my sister how much I really care about her leaves an indelible impression. Lynn Shelton presents a simple, well-structured script and keeps a light hand on the camera, letting her immensely talented cast shine big time. The large majority of the film plays out through one-on-one chats and table scenes, so compelling conversation is key and Shelton and co. deliver. Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt have the ideal degree of chemistry, all establishing their own connection with one another while also highlighting the group vibe, giving their relationships an incredible amount of depth, making them enjoyable and moving to see progress. “Your Sister’s Sister” will make you smile, laugh, and want to drink a bottle of tequila with a good friend all while melting your heart away.
Great Quote: “I really think your face is gonna annoy me right now.”
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Emotion is great and all, but there’s nothing more frustrating than a movie that makes you cry via manipulation. When “The Impossible” began with that text reminding you it’s based on a true story only to fade to black, leaving just the words “true story” glowing on the screen, I was sure it would be 103 minutes of melodrama, however, not only did the film go on to earn each and every tear, but also became one of my favorites of the year. Moviegoers love Hollywood-style disaster films. I know I most certainly do! But rather than give “The Impossible” a boost, that sets it up to fail. Say what you want about Juan Antonio Bayona’s choice not to go with a Spanish cast, but, as a viewer, it in no way devalued the experience, letting Bayona’s representation of that catastrophic event tell the family’s story in the most respectful, exhilarating, and heart wrenching way possible. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are fantastic, but this industry needs more Tom Holland!
Great Quote: “Even if it’s the last thing we do.”
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I’m not going to lie; I was thrilled to death to catch “Magic Mike” for the commercial appeal alone – Channing Tatum and his sexy cohorts rocking it out as male strippers – but it’s so much more than that. After a dirty dancing and six pack-filled promotional campaign, it was easy to forget that “Magic Mike” is a Steven Soderbergh movie, and Soderbergh doesn’t hold back in the least reminding you with the full feature, ultimately making “Magic Mike” a mesmerizing big screen anomaly. It’s got the feel of a grand scale charmer, but there are countless nuances that scream deliberate and proficient filmmaking while also being so subtle. It isn’t until the credits role that you sit back and realize what a nice surprise the experience was and how deeply connected you were to the characters as people and not just the thrill of their profession.
Great Quote: “The law says you cannot touch, but I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house.”
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It’s a movie about a dude trapped on a boat with a tiger! How could this not be one of the great movies of the year? But in all seriousness, Suraj Sharma isn’t getting the attention he deserves for “Life of Pi.” The CGI Richard Parker is quite the achievement, but Sharma’s ability to play off a fake tiger and sell every single moment, basically carrying the entire film, is nothing less than incredible. But, of course, Ang Li deserves a major thumbs up for selling each and every element of the piece, from Pi’s wavering relationship with the tiger to the more fantastical portions of the story. Rather than putting the focus on Pi’s need to find safety before Richard Parker eats him, Li gives the adventure a noteworthy degree of dimension through Pi’s thoughts and emotions. It’s not just about survival. This experience means much more to Pi than that and that, in turn, gives the audience much more to think about, letting “Life of Pi” have a long-lasting impression.
Great Quote: “Animals have souls. I have seen it in their eyes.”
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If I could be a fly on the wall during any scene of a 2012 movie, it’d undoubtedly be the elevator massacre in “The Cabin in the Woods.” Really, is there any horror movie out there that combines genre clichés with originality so well? The movie’s the ultimate two-for-one, offering up that good old secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere scenario while spicing it up with a wildly inventive and surprisingly believable reason for it all. (Or perhaps it’s more just wanting to believe, which is also fine by me.) You’re rooting for poor Dana and her helpless friends to survive, but you also want Hadley and Sitterson to take them out so they can top the Japanese. Then again, Hadley and Sitterson get bonus points for the wonderfully sadistic and entertaining ways they go about killing their victims, so their cause wins out the slightest bit. Is it going too far to call “Cabin in the Woods” horror-lover porn? I’m leaning towards a no.
Great Quote: “Yes, you had Zombies, but this is Zombie Redneck Torture Family. Entirely separate thing. It’s like the difference between an elephant and an elephant seal.”
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“Sinister” had me with its sick and twisted way of saying hello, opening with a minute that feels like ten of watching a helpless family dangling from a tree by their necks. The “Sinister” mini movies alone are more than enough to keep you up at night, but then director Scott Derrickson also offers up a disturbing original story, horrifying imagery, and a powerful lead performance from Ethan Hawke to make it all feel real. From beginning to end, we’re trapped in that house with Ellison. You know something terrible is going down, but the thought of this murder inspiring Ellison’s next big true crime novel makes you want him to dig deeper. But, of course, this is a horror movie so there comes the time when you’re itching to yell at the screen and tell Ellison to reconsider his priorities. It makes for a nice surprise when he actually obliges – in the best and worst ways. I’ve got a “Sinister” poster hanging in my apartment and you know who is on it, so maybe I shouldn’t move out anytime soon.
Great Quote: “Don’t worry, Daddy. I’ll make you famous again.”
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“The Hunger Games” is my most-viewed movie of 2012 and for good reason. Sure, I’m obsessed with Suzanne Collins’ books and do a great deal of writing on the material, but my love of the source has nothing to do with the film version making the list. Gary Ross took a mere $80 million (a low number compared to the major’s all-too-frequent $200 million+ budgets) and turned it into one of the highest-grossing films of the year, and one of quality at that! Ross and co. just absolutely nail the adaptation process. He never undermines the gravity of the Hunger Games, making the event compelling in and of itself, but also does a superb job of putting the audience in Katniss’ shoes, making the experience personal and upping the emotion tenfold. And who can talk “Hunger Games” without gushing over Jennifer Lawrence? Had the studio miscast the role of Katniss Everdeen, it would have been detrimental, but not only did they land the perfect Katniss, they found an actress who would ultimately go on to soar far beyond expectations. Not only is “The Hunger Games” my third best movie of 2012, but it is the most re-watchable movie of the year, hitting the same beats with a notable amount of intensity over and over again.
Great Quote: “I’m here to help you make an impression.”
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While you don’t want to think of the task of killing Osama bin Laden as entertainment, “Zero Dark Thirty” is a movie and a movie’s got to be entertaining, especially at a running time of 157 minutes. Clearly not an easy task with an issue that hits homes for many, but Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal handle every element of the process so delicately that they create an enthralling and entertaining experience while also honoring and respecting the facts. Jessica Chastain’s Maya is pleasant, but leaves just enough room to let you somewhat pity her for handing her entire life over to her job. Then again, she also manages to establish a firm enough connection between the character and the viewer, compelling you to root for her and go along with anything she says. Tack on the fact that it’s impossible to sit through “Zero Dark Thirty” without feeling the effects of the film’s true roots and you end up with the ideal adaptation, a piece that takes the true event and amplifies it with a lesser-known side of the story.
Great Quote: “I’m the mother***er who found this place.”
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Top-notch filmmaking, an endlessly entertaining experience and almost overwhelmingly moving. The second I walked out of “Silver Linings Playbook,” I knew it’d be a tough one to beat. Bradley Cooper gives Pat this fantastic push and pull. You’re well aware of his diagnosis yet still hope he gets what he wants, so when Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany steps into the picture, you’ve still got your fingers crossed Pat’s wife will take him back, but are also being increasingly charmed by Tiffany. What results is this wonderful quirky, deep connection between the characters that makes one person’s arc totally reliant on the other’s, an achievement that can only result from the best of performances. Cooper is excellent, but Lawrence does it again. Even while drowning in “Hunger Games” fame, Lawrence has no trouble embodying another character to the fullest extent. Tiffany is impulsive and a bit too blunt, but Lawrence keeps her likable enough and then infuses her with a degree of vulnerability that just melts your heart and hope she gets what she wants, or, rather, deserves. “Silver Linings Playbook” is part romantic comedy, part drama, part family film and even a little feel-good sports movie, too, and, in the end, it leaves you with only the most satisfying assets of each.
Great Quote: “You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.”
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Stellar production design and visual effects come nowhere close to saving “Snow White and the Huntsman” from its train wreck of a script and unemotional lead. Hands down one of the slowest films of the year, what could have made for a decent 90-minute fantasy action flick turns into a miserable bore drowning in dead air and nonsensical transitions. Making the film even more of a snooze is the fact that Stewart looks just as bored acting in it as the audience feels watching it.

Yet again, great set design, visual effects, makeup and costume work, but all of it ultimately amounts to no more than a boring gimmick. Rather than use the multi-narrative format in a way to enhance each and every story, it makes “Cloud Atlas” feel disjointed and basically just winds up repeating what the trailer told us six times over – we’re all connected. Even worse, it never even makes you believe it. You’re better off just watching the trailer and stepping in for the last two minutes of the film when they present a montage revealing which characters each actor plays – further solidifying the whole thing as a gimmick.

Pretty picture with a lame story and poor pacing all over again. “Anna Karenina” might have been my most painful experience at the theater all year. The ultimate watch-checker, I couldn’t wait for the credits to role so I didn’t have to hear Keira Knightley blather on about her romantic woes for another second more. You get to choose between Jude Law and Aaron Johnson; are you really complaining? Just pick one and get on with your on with your life. Don’t drown us all in your self-created sorrows.

How does a script like this go on to get financed? And how does it go on to attract talent like Chris Pine and Tom Hardy? There’s nothing wrong with a run-of-the-mill romance romp for Valentine’s Day, but “This Means War” is nonsensical garbage. McG seems to have lost his sense of proper shot composition, Reese Witherspoon continues to carry on acting even without the talent she lost years ago, and Pine manages to create the least likeable leading man of the year. Thank you Tom Hardy for giving “This Mean War” at least one nice thing to look at.

This movie should not exist, plain and simple. “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” isn’t just unfunny, poorly made and downright ridiculous; it’s so bad it’s nearly impossible to watch. There’s nothing pleasant, charming or even relatable about Tim and Eric, and their little adventure is so preposterous, it’s impossible to get on board even if you tried. Top that of with the fact that it’s weird and grotesque to the point of being truly troubling and you’ve got absolutely no reason whatsoever to even consider allowing yourself to suffer through this atrocity.

Happy and healthy New Year, Shockya readers! Until 2013!

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Interview: The Cabin in the Woods Writer-Director Drew Goddard

You may not know Drew Goddard, but you certainly know his films and TV shows. Not only did he write and produce Lost and Alias, but he also wrote the shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and penned the movie Cloverfield, too. Clearly Goddard’s enjoyed a lengthy stream of success as a writer-producer, but the time came when he opted to step behind the lens himself and therefore, into the spotlight as well.

Goddard makes his directorial debut with The Cabin in the Woods, a horror film that revisits the familiar tale of a group of unsuspecting young adults who opt to spend their vacation at a creepy, secluded cabin in the woods. Think Cabin will be more of the same? Far from it. Here’s an instance where you should really take the film’s tagline seriously – “You think you know the story.”

Clearly this introduction is light on plot, and for good reason; The Cabin in the Woods might be one of the most highly spoilable films in recent years. However, that doesn’t mean Goddard wasn’t thrilled to discuss the process of making what he calls his “labor of love.” Check out everything Goddard had to say from developing the idea with Joss Whedon to working with his DP, Peter Deming, and much more in the interview below and then fill in all those plot holes yourself when The Cabin in the Woods arrives in theaters on Friday, April 13th.

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Review: The Cabin in the Woods

If you’ve been paying much attention to the release of The Cabin in the Woods, you’ve undoubtedly heard about how easily you can spoil the experience. Had I not known a lick of information about the feature prior to catching it, sure, the twists and turns would have absolutely blown my mind, but at the same time, I probably wouldn’t have been as excited to see the film having no conception of what was to come. Plus, even after watching all the promotional material, the full feature far exceeded every preconception I made anyway. But still, don’t worry; I’m not about to go and spoil the movie for you. This will be a spoiler-free review save for the information revealed in the trailers.

Curt’s (Chris Hemsworth) cousin has a vacant vacation house out in the woods, so why not use it? Curt rounds up his buddies, the sweet and innocent Dana (Kristen Connolly), his newly blond girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchinson), the pot-loving Marty (Fran Kranz) and the ultimate nice guy Holden (Jesse Williams) and they all pile into an RV and head out for what should be a getaway packed with sun, sex and booze. The trouble is, they’re not as in control of their vacation agenda as they think.

Richard Sitterson and Steve Hadley (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) are hard at work at the office planning an event that could finally make their US-based office more successful than the Japan location. What do they need to do to put themselves on top? Kill the residents of the cabin in the woods.

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Interview: Cabin in the Woods’ Jesse Williams

The Cabin in the Woods is a horror-lover’s dream. As a scary movie fantastic myself, you’d think I’d be beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to interview cast member Jesse Williams about the film, but as an easily spoilable piece, it wasn’t easy to both contain my excitement and keep Cabin’s most unique twists and turns under wraps.

Williams plays Holden, one of five college kids heading out into the woods for a weekend away in a secluded cabin. While Curt, Jules, Dana and Marty (Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz) are all close friends, Holden’s a bit of an outsider, brought in by Curt to cheer up the recently single Dana. Once at the cabin, it’s all fun, booze and budding romance until a certain something turns their vacation into a bloody nightmare.

After kicking our chat off with the basics, specifically Williams’ horror movie preferences, we jumped right into the gory Cabin details. If you’re one of those folks who wants to be entirely surprised by what the full feature’s got to offer, I’d advise holding off on reading this interview until after you’ve seen the film. However, for those looking for a Cabin preview, the film’s secrets are safety hidden behind white text. Highlight at your own risk.

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Perri’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Well, hello there 2012!

Just as we all like to start off the New Year with personal clean slates, the same goes for the film industry. Nothing new has hit theaters just yet and all we’ve got to go off of is the upcoming slate of releases, so it’s prime time for maximum optimism.

Naturally, after sorting through the lengthy list of features due out in 2012, it was rather tough to whittle down the list to just ten choices, but how great is that? On top of these potentially stellar upcoming releases, there’s quite a few more deserving of the honor. That being said, keep in mind, this is my most anticipated of 2012 and, like all of those best of 2011 lists, there’s leeway for personal preference.

So, here’s what I’ve got. Agree? Disagree? Something missing from my list you think I should consider? Do share. And now, without further ado, my most anticipated movies of 2012 …

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ and ‘John Carter’ Stand Out

Let’s face it; it’s not easy to come up with original material for feature films – and the same goes for their promotional campaigns. But, on the bright side, you can always take the good old concepts moviegoers love, put even the slightest spin on them and then highlight those elements all the way through to still offer something that feels fresh – and the same goes for promo material too, of course. Kudos to our best promos of the week for taking that idea and running with it. But, before we get to the best stuff, let’s take a look at what just missed the mark and what came nowhere close.

If only there were more room in The Best Stuff …

After Taken, anything in which Liam Neeson saves the day gets a free pass to awesome. But, even beyond Neeson, The Grey looks like a pretty incredible ride. Similar to Frozen, the trailer gives off a particularly chilly vibe that doesn’t only thrill via the visuals, but actually makes you a tad cold.

Hmmm …

I don’t really know what to make of Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie and I’ve got a good feeling it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m not very familiar with the duo’s work. The trailer is certainly on the unconventional side, but there’s also something about it that makes me feel like I shouldn’t knock it without at least trying it. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve got a new clip from The Devil Inside. While the material is incredibly engaging, especially when it relies so heavily on one character’s monologue, the fact that the ending is rather predictable keeps it out of the top tier of this piece.

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