News and Reviews
Today, our "best of 2012" turns to Jeff Allard. Jeff has been writing for us for quite a while and I respect his work, moreover, his opinion. If you've been following our year-end lists this week, you might have noticed a pattern in our selections. Well, Jeff is here to break things up. We'll begin with his "honorable mentions." Head inside for his "top 5." - Ryan Turek, Managing Editor
Honorable Mentions: Shark fans should give Bait a look as it’s one of the best examples of the shark sub-genre; The Collection was the gnarliest slasher pic of the year; Tim Burton made one of his best recent films with Frankenweenie, a true love letter to Monster Kids; and although it probably would’ve worked better as an installment of an anthology show as the story felt padded out to feature length, Sinister nonetheless achieved some of the year’s best scares.
All week long, ShockTillYouDrop.com's contributing writers are weighing in their favorite horror films of the year. Today, we continue with Spencer Perry's picks. What made the cut? Head inside to find out! You'll also find links to our previous "Best of" lists. As always, feel free to use our comment boards to weigh in with your picks. Just keep it classy.
2012, in horror, has had its ups and downs.
I found that a lot of the titles that I wanted to consider for the list were initially released in 2011. For that matter, three of the titles that did make the list were in the can for some time before finally receiving distribution or US distribution in 2012.
Head inside for my top five horror films of the year!
Look for a "best of 2012" list from each of Shock's contributing writers throughout the week!
Optimism has been renewed. Things might be looking up for horror. For the last two years or so, I always frowned at the task of creating a year-end “top 10” list. It got to a point where I felt compelled to par back and draft only a “top five.” This year, however, I break the norm and present eight films. I’m happy to say coming up with top five was all too easy and I really didn’t want to leave three titles behind, so here are my “top eight horror films of 2012.”
Over-all, the year was a mixed bag – as each year in the genre tends to be - although I’m always hopeful that we’ll soon have 12 months where the good far outweighs the bad. Speaking of “bad,” let me take a moment to fire off some of the titles that would have made a “worst of 2012” list had I created a separate article. You ready? The Devil Inside (atrocious, not to mention incomplete), House at the End of the Street (inept), The Woman in Black (generic), The Raven (predictable), Silent Hill: Revelation (boring) and Smiley (nonsensical drivel).
This year proved that the big studios still don’t know quite what to do with the genre, so we get clunky fare like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Dark Shadows, the aforementioned The Raven or The Apparition. Three of the films that made my top six this year were studio release; out of that group one was long-delayed and another was made through a smaller company yet given a wide release. This further reinforces that the studios in the Hollywood system are slightly misguided about the genre and for quality and diversity, horror fans should turn their attention towards the direct-to-DVD or VOD market.
In the '90s, Richard Jenkins jumped onto this writer's horror radar when he appeared briefly in the 1994 Jack Nicholson vehicle Wolf. Jenkins' part was small. He played a detective who was often on the receiving end of Michelle Pfeiffer's sassiness Later, he co-starred in Flirting With Disaster, exercising his comedic chops as a cop who trips balls on Lily Tomlin and Alan Alda's acid. Needless to say, his performance left and impression and I knew he'd be one to watch.
Since then, he has been well utilized: Six Feet Under, Step Brothers, Burn After Reading, Let Me In and, more recently, The Cabin in the Woods, hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week.
Shock was more than thrilled to get the chance to speak to Jenkins about the film and his time on set playing opposite Bradley Whitford. The two are truly a large part of Cabin's success and what they bring to the table - as the story's "puppet masters" (if you want to call them that) - is nothing short of hilarious.
We told you to see The Cabin in the Woods when it came out in theaters. Did you listen? Well, some of you did.
If you didn't, September 18th is your day to remedy that glaring problem you've got there. That's when Lionsgate Home Entertainment brings the film to DVD and Blu-ray jam-packed with special features.
In anticipation of this release, we spoke with co-writer and director Drew Goddard one more time. After the jump, read our chat which touches on some of the bonus content featured on the disc, the creatures of Cabin in the Woods and Goddard's thoughts on the Marvel cinematic universe now that Cabin's co-writer/producer, Joss Whedon, has committed to superheroes for the next few years.
About six months ago, FEARnet's Lawrence Raffel and myself put the all-horror podcast we had been collaborating on, called Shock Waves, on hold.
A few factors into its hiatus (we knocked out 18 episodes consistently from July 2011 to January of this year), but nothing ever stays dead in this genre so we both agreed it was time to bring Shock Waves back, especially after the listener feedback asking when it would return.
Here's the rub. All of our old episodes, from "season 1" we'll call them, are gone. Lost to the Internet. Don't ask me where they went, but they no longer exist, sadly. We're starting "season 2" with a clean slate you might say.
In this installment, we're getting back into the groove of things. We look at various horror movies we've liked and disliked in 2012 so far. We also weigh in on the Korean import Deranged, now playing in select theaters.
Brian Collins (from BadAss Digest, Horror Movie a Day) swings by for a discussion about Halloween 4 and Halloween 5, two titles making their Blu-ray debut this month from Anchor Bay Entertainment. How do the sequels featuring the iconic horror villain Michael Myers hold up? Oh, we'll tell you...
All of this and much more in the Shock Waves relaunch! Listen inside.
Sort of a breaking news item as there is not much information to go on right now. The Facebook page for The Cabin in the Woods has announced the film is coming to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD on September 18th. Cover art can be found inside.
Updated! We now have a list of the bonus material after the jump...
Happy Friday the 13th, folks! Consider this a lucky day for horror fans. Why? Because, after a long wait, The Cabin in the Woods is officially hitting theaters.
This movie really is for you guys. The fan who has seen it all. Knows the rules. And is quite aware that "it's all been done." Cabin is the cinematic counterpart to the hardcore horror fan and we hope you dig the flick as much as we did.
Since the film is opening today, we want to hear your thoughts on it. Use our comment boards within to sound off on the film and check out some reactions to the flick from the Shock Till You Drop-hosted screening we held in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Be sure to keep your opinions spoiler-free, please!
We have received a new TV spot for The Cabin the Woods that lovingly embraces its R rating. The film opens in theaters this Friday the 13th and is written by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and Joss Whedon (The Avengers); Goddard directed.
Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Brian White star.
Lionsgate unleashed a new clip from The Cabin in the Woods dubbed "Split Up," and look at that...it has an introduction by Thor, er, Chris Hemsworth. The film is opening this Friday and you best go see it! Here is our review if you missed it: Click here.
One week ago, Shock Till You Drop dropped in on Washington D.C. to host a screening of The Cabin in the Woods with stars Fran Kranz and Kristen Connelly. A Q&A followed, allowing the two to speak openly and candily about the film, knowing full well the audience had seen the film and all of its surprises.
While it would be tough to post that Q&A hear (it was spoiler-filled), we did catch up to Kranz earlier today for a quick chat we could run. One that would be spoiler-free, but informative nonetheless.
The actor, who stars in the film as the easy-going stoner "Marty," previously worked with Cabin producer/co-writer Joss Whedon on the television series Dollhouse. He also appeared in The Village and the Lucy Liu-starring Rise. Read on to hear his thoughts about contemporary horror and how The Cabin in the Woods fits in, working with his cast members and working alongside Goddard and Whedon.
If you attended the Alamo Drafthouse's advance screening of The Cabin in the Woods tonight, you were granted a chance to get a pretty killer poster for the film, courtesy of Mondo Tees and Phantom City Creative. Take a look...
Two weeks from tomorrow...the wait will be over. The Cabin in the Woods makes its way into theaters, riding on a lot of positive buzz - including our own. The film opens on April 13th and we have a brand new television spot to share.
Mind you, there's only so much footage they're going to allow to get out there, so you may recognize a few shots from previous previews. Director, Drew Goddard, and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon would prefer to have their film's secrets kept under wraps.
Just as a quick reminder, I will be in Washington D.C. on Monday, April 2nd hosting the film. Stars Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz will be in attendance for a Q&A. It's going to be a helluva night. If you're in the area, we hope you got your tickets!
Head inside for the TV spot...
Lionsgate has supplied us with yet another look at The Cabin in the Woods, which is experiencing some early screenings right now all around the country and officially opens on April 13th. Head inside for the images.
Shock Till You Drop is hosting a screening in Washington, D.C. on April 2nd. If you're in the area and you were one of the lucky ones to snag a ticket, I'll see you there with stars Fran Kranz and Kristen Connolly.
For more on the film, follow this link where you'll find more images and clips!
A bit of background, first, in case you haven't heard of the film. The Cabin in the Woods pairs the writer of Cloverfield, Drew Goddard, and the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly (not to mention the director of The Avengers), Joss Whedon. The two penned the script, Goddard directed and Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Brian White star.
The plot? Well, that's something we'd rather not talk about. Just know that it blends genre archetypes and is a deft play on the "cabin in the woods" scenario.
Shock Till You Drop is hosting a screening in a major East Coast city and we're giving away tickets now. Head inside for the details!
Last night, during the season finale of The Walking Dead season 2, Lionsgate and Relativity took the opportunity to promote The Cabin in the Woods and The Raven, respectively. Smart move, as a lot of eyes were on AMC last night. After the jump, you'll find new previews for both films. Cabin opens in theaters April 13th, Raven follows on April 27th.
Attempting to review a film that has this many twists and pleasant surprises is an unenviable task. So, allow me to be as succinct as I can without giving a whole lot of plot details from the anticipated The Cabin in the Woods (opening April 13th) which may make this review quite short and vague.
Horror has seen its fair share of films which have attempted, for better or for worse, to deconstruct the genre on either a narrative or technical level.
The Cabin in the Woods trumps them all and is, hands-down, one of the smartest horror movies I’ve seen in years.
It’s a timeless, endlessly entertaining and biting look at the genre, adapting to all genre archetypes in the sharpest way possible and never once talking down to its audience. Cabin knows you’ve likely seen it all and experienced every cinematic fear. And so it shamelessly calls upon everything you can imagine, spinning them in wildly different directions and doing so at the service of a sinister plot which is pretty goddamn brilliant.
Few fledgling directors can say they knocked it out of the park with their first feature-length horror film, but Drew Goddard can carry those bragging rights.
I don't think it's embedded in his personality to say that exactly, so I'll do it for him: With The Cabin in the Woods, he kills it, crafting a movie that is confident, weird, scary, funny and, above all, smart. This film puts the dunce cap on a lot of self-described hip and witty horror films and kicks them to the corner of the classroom.
However, is Goddard's achievement really a surprise? He's worked on some terrific television over the last ten years, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost. Goddard also penned Cloverfield, which he described to us as a love letter to his wife. As they say, the guy's got chops. And like Cloverfield, in which he re-teamed with Lost producer J.J. Abrams, Cabin finds Goddard working with another prominent television icon from his past: Joss Whedon. The two collaborated on Cabin's script and Whedon produced the film, which has seen its fair share of release troubles.
When the film - starring a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connelly, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford - rolled cameras, MGM was the distributor. Then the studio went bankrupt and Cabin was shelved until Lionsgate acquired the title. But don't let that history be a telling sign of a "troubled" film. Cabin is anything but that. It transcends all of that nonsense in more ways than one.
A few days out from The Cabin in the Woods' big SXSW film festival premiere, Shock Till You Drop met Goddard to discuss its origins, the production process, 3D, the cast and the horror genre.
EPIX, the multiplatform premium service, will present EPIX Live: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, Sunday March 11th at 1 pm ET / 12 noon CT live from the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Whedon (writer) and Goddard (writer/director) will discuss their new horror film, The Cabin in the Woods, which will open the Festival on March 9. Lionsgate will release The Cabin in the Woods in theaters everywhere on April 13th.
The live chat is open to all fans, who can submit questions through Facebook and Twitter, chat with other participants and follow the conversation streamed on EpixHD.com, HitFix.com and through EPIX, Lionsgate & HitFix Facebook pages. The interactive Q & A will be hosted by Drew McWeeny, Film Editor of the movie and entertainment news site, HitFix.
Here comes the second trailer for The Cabin in the Woods, arriving shortly before its big premiere at South By Southwest. As much as I want to say, "Stay away! Don't watch this!" like some harbinger of doom, how can you not want to watch the latest preview for this film from director Drew Goddard and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon?
Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Brian White star in the anticipated film opening April 13th.
Speaking of Goddard...Shock is venturing out to meet the man this afternoon, so expect an exclusive interview shortly!
When it comes to The Cabin in the Woods, I'd prefer to keep my mouth shut and let you discover the film when it opens on April 13th. Alas, photos will leak out and Shock wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't share them with you.
A new pic is going to hit the cover of Fangoria magazine, revealing one of the film's many characters. Friend? Foe? Again, don't want to say any more.
Just a reminder, if you're at South By Southwest next month, The Cabin in the Woods will be screening there...so seek it out. Head inside for that full Fangoria cover.
Kids exploring the basement in a horror film can only result in one thing: a blood bath. So says the official Facebook page for The Cabin in the Woods which revealed a new image for the April 13th release. The image favors Chris Hemsworth, who is also starring in The Avengers this summer, reprising his role as Thor. In Cabin, he plays another hero type. But we will not elaborate. Head inside for the pic!
As we near the April 13th release of The Cabin in the Woods (Yes! It's finally coming out!), expect to start seeing an increase in coverage about the project's genesis and more, especially with a South By Southwest festival screening on the horizon.
In an interview with Total Film, co-writer and producer Joss Whedon explained the film is a bit of a reaction to where horror was over the last ten years and what he, along with director Drew Goddard, preferred to see in the genre.
After years of waiting - and I'm not being sarcastic by saying that - a trailer for The Cabin in the Woods is here, touting its April 13 release from Lionsgate.
Go in with zero expectations and be prepared for a lot of Chris Hemsworth (why not, he's friggin' Thor) and "What the hell did I just see?" But rest assured, something unique is coming at us.