My top films of the year


While I didn’t manage my target of watching 100 films in the year, I didn’t do too badly. Seen a lot of films I’ve been meaning to see and plenty of great stuff in the cinema. For that reason I’m going to cheat and do two lists of my top films of the year. Yes, cheat!

One’s a top 10 cinema releases and the other is a list of my top 10 small screen films I’ve watched from the comfort of my own home.

Both have been pretty tough for me. I reckon it would have been tougher had Les Miserables and Django Unchained been released over this way this year. Though, that’s all here-say!

Enough babbling, here are my lists:

100 movies: The Cabin in the Woods

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

Just a little warning. While I tried to keep this review of mine spoiler free, I haven’t really been successful. It’s been impossible for me to really talk about what I enjoyed about this film without having a few spoilers thrown into the mix. So please don’t read this if you’re wanting to see the film and haven’t yet. It’ll only ruin your enjoyment. And I don’t want to do that. Above all I don’t want be the person to be blamed for that!

The Cabin in the WoodsThe Cabin in the Woods (13/04/12)

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

Poor Cabin. It’s been kicking around for such a long time. At one point it was looking set for a straight to DVD release. If that at all. Thankfully someone saw the light and spoke up and years later it got given a release date two weeks before Joss Whedon’s big arse film for the year, The Avengers. Oh and also using the whole Friday 13th angle too. Good move!

Here you’ve got your typical set up. Teens. Creepy cabin in the woods. Creepy dude at the petrol station warning said teens. You’ve got all your checkboxes for your typical horror film ticked. But then you’ve got Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins’ characters clearly involved with something, but what? (BTW, did they kill it or what? Both of these guys stole the show whenever they were onscreen. Great bit of casting!)

The rest of the cast was great. A pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth makes for a good jock. Though Fran Kranz’s stoner was the highlight out of that bunch. Who’d have thought? I remember him being the only cast/character in Joss’ Dollhouse that I liked. Kristen Connolly’s vulnerable Dana is the kind of character that you know well in the world of Joss. She’s brilliantly written and I empathised with her throughout.

Joss and Drew’s script was fantastic. I loved the witty dialog. It was smart and clever. There didn’t feel like a pointless word. The same could be said for Drew Goddard’s direction. Every shot felt deliberate. It was all insanely smooth flowing and guess what guys? No shaky cam!

The ride was amazing. Being a massive horror film fan, I was ticking off all the nods I was getting thrown with. Everything from Friday 13th to Evil Dead via It and The Strangers. META is definitely the word of choice when describing this film. Is it why it looks like it’s being enjoyed a whole heap more by critics rather than your average audience? I think I might have been one of the very few to have genuinely loved the film in the screening I was in!

When the gore started flying, it really started flying. Blood, guts, everything, everywhere! Deaths were gruesome and painful. Not to mention relentless. I think the zombie with the bear trap could give the big horror film players out there a run for their money.

Then there’s the ending. Some people said it was too out there. Too over the top. Too out there. Why not go out there? I hazarded a guess at the purpose of the teen’s trip to the cabin while watching the opening titles – something to do with ritual sacrifice. Yep, I was right. I wish I wasn’t! Though, it didn’t take any enjoyment away from the film.

Finally, I’m wondering a little bit about the film’s trailer. The fact that they do say that Cabin isn’t your average horror film. So there was a different level of expectation. But then again, had the marketing bods not put that little disclaimer in, would it have made the cinema going masses more disappointed?
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…