Cabin in the Woods

I was very excited to see this because I am a huge Joss Whedon fan.

Unfortunately, this movie didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was an interesting premise (a group basically sets up a horror movie-type premise for five unsuspecting college-age kids) but it wasn’t scary or even all that clever.

The cast is really good—Bradley Whitford and Richard Jennings in the group, Avery Johnson in the victims group, plus the best cameo since Zombieland.

I think the best horror movies don’t try to be clever at the expense of scares. Originality is great but it’s even better to actually scare people. This movie wasn’t either and I expected so much more from Joss Whedon.

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Insidious

Insidious seems at first like your typical haunted house story.  Couple with three young children move into a new home and weird things start to happen—whispers over the baby monitor, strange noises, things not where they should be, etc.

But then the son mysteriously falls into a coma—and there’s no possible medical reason for it.  And even after the family moves to a new house, the weird things continue.  In fact, they’re getting worse.

And there’s a good reason for that: their son (the one in the coma) is the one haunted, not the house.

I loved this movie.  It’s uber-scary, then takes a turn for the completely ridiculous (astral projection) and then gets scary again.  Part of it is because there’s a fantastic cast (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey—and Lin Shaye, who was the English teacher in the original Nightmare on Elm Street) and part of it is because you can tell that James Wan loves scary movies and he wanted to make a good one, not necessarily just a profitable one.

This is such a fun and creepy movie.