I’m going to keep this short. Partially because I really don’t want to spoil anything to do with Cabin in the Woods, and also because I don’t want to waste much breath/font on the Three Stooges.
I should add a few disclaimers. I have been a devout Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan for a decade now and devour everything Joss Whedon touches. (Though dollhouse leaves an interesting aftertaste) Also, I could never get into the physical antics of the old time Stooges shorts. It was just too much slapstick and only seemed like it could be funny for people suffering from the Great Depression. Am I biased? Yes, a little bit.
Let’s start this off with the Three Stooges. This has been a passion project for the Farrelly brothers for 15 years now. It once had Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, and Benicio Del Toro attached to play the title characters. But because they care about their careers they all dropped out and now we get the fat guy from MadTV, The chief of staff from 24 season 8, and the flamboyant scene stealer from Will and Grace. I’m not saying I need a star-studded cast in a movie like this, but with TV actors and being subpar anyways, this feels like it could have featured on the small screen. I did respect that it played with the old format of doing 3 shorts that compiled into the feature, but 3 was too many. A little Stooges goes a long way. I will say that this is a very clean movie. I’m actually surprised the Farrellys could pull it off. This really does seem like a movie you could take your kids to, and who knows, they will probably enjoy it. What young boy doesn’t love extreme cartoon violence.
Cabin in the Woods was supposed to be released 2 years ago. This modern take on horror, Written and directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Joss Whedon, was in the can when MGM decided they wanted to cash in on the 3D fad and convert the entire movie. In the process, MGM went belly up and Cabin was forgotten and left to collect dust. Thank the horror gods, they actually found a distributor and is thankfully not in 3D. I am going to do the same as every other critic out there and tell you next to nothing about this movie. There isn’t a huge twist or anything, it’s just that you need to enjoy the ride without any preconceived notions. It starts off like a cliched horror flick. College kids go to a cabin for the weekend to party and get up to no good. Though nothing is as it seems. All I’m going to say is that Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins basically take over as lead characters and they kill it. (Literally and Metaphorically) Not since Scream has the horror genre been challenged and given fresh blood.
To give the Three Stooges a little bit of credit, if you watched it in black and white, it would fit in with their old stuff. But sadly it is 2012 and this movie just doesn’t work. It gets a D. I could not recommend Cabin in the Woods to everyone, but for horror/comedy fans you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better. It gets an A. I wish more writers/directors actually cared enough about making something original and wanted to surprise movie fans.