THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is based on an ingenious concept that I won't reveal because that would spoil some of the fun.
What I can tell you is that this wildly entertaining movie takes a typical horror film set-up and turns it upside down and inside out.
The tag line for the film is "You think you know the story; think again."
Five stereotypical college kids head off to a remote cabin where all kinds of creepy things happen: that's a standard horror film setup. But as even the trailer for this movie reveals, the zombies that attack these characters are being controlled by shirt-and-tie professionals in a control room.
And believe me, that's only the first of many surprising plot points that make this clever, exciting film so entertaining.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is wickedly funny and fiendishly clever. Although there's plenty of violence in the movie, the bloody confrontations aren't realistic enough to be truly disturbing.
Instead, the fun comes from the wild imaginations, sly humor, and non stop energy of its creators.
* * *
At the other end of the spectrum is a French film called LE HAVRE, an odd slow paced comedy-drama about an old shoe shine man, his ailing wife, and the immigrant boy the husband takes in.
LE HAVRE is slow, stiff, eccentric and proud of all these qualities.
It's a movie made for people who miss the mannered French films of the first half of the twentieth century.
Still, its deadpan humor and warm hearted story make LE HAVRE worth seeing for audiences who are looking for something completely different from contemporary movies.