March 27th, 2012

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The Cabin in the Woods

Broke my heart not to be able to do this write up immediately last night, but that extra hour of sleep was precious to me. So I scribbled down some notes throughout the day so I can burn thru this before rehearsal tonight. Im still so \m/ giddy.

But before we get to the awesome that was The Cabin in the Woods, let's start with the fun that was my NYC weekend. Day started at 4 AM, as per usual and I hopped the 6:30 Greyhound to the big city. Caught the Matinee of Newsies, which has to be one of the most fun musicals ever. I adore the movie, and it played so well on stage. The acrobatic cast was impressive, led by the charismatic Jeremy Jordan. For the evening show, I saw Death of Salesman. Quite the polar opposite of Newsies, but as a theatre person I felt obligated to see this show, esp when the cast included Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield. Phenomenal performances. Oh, and you know who else is in the cast? Dollhouse's Fran Kranz!! We chatted a bit at the stage door about Cabin in the Woods, where he told me that he'd be at the Boston screening. Just when I thought I couldnt be more excited for the film. More on that later cause NYC wasn't over yet. Crashed at the BFFF's and we headed back to B'way ridiculously early the next morning to camp out for SRO tix for Book of Mormon! I still can't believe we actually got to see it. I'll admit, the bar was set impossibly high, but still OMG so amazing.

Sooooo yeah, yesterday there was a screening of Cabin in the Woods here in Boston. By some miracle, I actually didnt have Urinetown rehearsal, which meant I was available to go. And by miracle I mean that it's MIT spring break and there's only so much you can do when only the handful of crusty alums like myself can make it. Didn't even care that I was missing Tony Vincent's battle round on The Voice, and since its early in the season my DWTS obsession hasn't kicked in yet, so that didnt even register. Book in hand, I got to the Common what I thought was ridiculously early (over 90 min). I walked in and saw a handful of people in line ahead of me. Seemed about right. After a few minutes they let us upstairs to find that there was an even bigger crowd that had already been waiting. Whoa. Not too long after that we were allowed into the auditorium and I took my seat up front on the aisle. Tried to continue reading by my new single serving friend beside me insisted on chatting. First about the weather. Okay. Then about movies. Sure. Then about her estranged daughter. Aaaand we've gone too far. But soon it was 8:00 and Cabin stars Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz were led in to intro the movie. On their way to their seats, I called out "Hi again!" to Fran. I got back a reflexive "hi", then saw the click of recognition, and got a more enthusiastic "Hi!!" and a clap on the shoulder as he walked past. Day. \m/. Made. And it wasn't even over yet.

I could not have asked for a better crowd to watch this movie with. The place was packed with Browncoats and Whedonites who were cheering and applauding everything. Such absolutely fantastic energy. As for the movie itself? \m/ brilliant. Joss Whedon has warned all of internet-dom about giving away spoilers, so I'll withhold details, but this was such a smart new take on the whole "cabin in the woods" sub genre of horror. Side note, I cannot say the phrase "cabin in the woods" without hearing it sung like in Evil Dead: The Musical. My brain automatically inserts "woo ooh" and "yeah ah" after the phrase.

Anyways, the trailer plays up the horror element of the movie, and yes it is a horror movie. But anyone who is in the least familiar with Joss Whedon knows that at the very least there's gonna be a fair amount of comically clever dialogue (and it was strangely satisfying hearing f bombs in there). I've said before that Scream is my favorite horror franchise because I love how it's a parody of slasher movies, while still being a slasher movie itself instead of a comedy. Similar idea with Cabin. Oh and some of Joss' love for supernatural krept in, the likes of which haven't been seen since his days in the Buffyverse.

It feels like the new trend (I touched on this writing up 21 Jump Street) is for movies to embrace their cliches and poke some fun at them. That definitely came into play here. I worry that this trend is gonna start to become the norm, but as long as it is executed as brilliantly as it was here, then I'm not gonna complain. And there were definitely some creativity points along the way too. Best use of bear traps since Straw Dogs, and most original drug paraphernalia.

While I could go into discussive detail about the rest of it, I wanna keep my promise to be spoiler free so we'll move on. After the movie, our stars did a Q&A with the crowd. I usually can't ever think of anything to ask, or if I do it's not until there's too many other people ahead of me, but I got lucky this time. Can't really give you the context, but I asked about a sign that I saw a character holding up and wondered what it said. Fran and Kristen weren't sure, but Fran did go on to explain some of the other Easter egg-y type of things going on in that and surrounding scenes. Besides A-ing my Q, they gave some great antecdotes about fake audition sides about pteradactyls, interacting with the stuntmen, boxing with Thor during downtime (or rather, boxing with Chris Hemworth until he became Thor, and not anymore after he got that phone call), the casting and audition process, and so much more.

Once it was over, a few people mobbed up to the front to talk to our stars as the rest of the crowd filed out. First off, I love how really the mob was around Fran Kranz. Def my type of people that choose the geek over the hot actress! I made my way to the front of the crowd and congratulated Fran on a fantastic movie and I social awkward penguin-ed my way into a hug. I asked for another picture since the one from Sat had come out a bit blurry. We talked a little bit more about Death of a Salesman. What was so cool is I got the sense that he was so genuinely grateful that I saw him in that show. I was starting to think I may be taking up too much of his time, but he kept the convo going for another minute or so. I walked out of the auditorium to find they were giving out posters and tees. I grabbed one of each then ran back inside to get the poster tagged. Kristen signed it (and was kinda in awe of my silver sharpie) and I got back in line to see Fran again. "Hi, sorry, I'm being greedy now, and probably creeping you out" "Not at all, no problem...*signs poster*...Thanks again for seeing the show!" *swoon*

Cabin in the Woods - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/