I have to do it. Here be spoilers.
Five friends in college are taking a weekend trip out to the country to a cabin in the woods to get away from it all. You have the smart and sensitive girl who experience with men is limited. Her best friend is somewhat more out-going and just dyed her hair blond. The blond's boyfriend appears to be a jock, but is in fact a sociology major. As they prepare to hit the road, their stoner-buddy appears for the trip.
All that is missing is a great-dane.
|The secret to success is making work fun.|
Throughout the initial introduction, the scene cuts to what appears to be a government base where two mid-level technicians are overseeing a project which involves setting-up this group for their trip to the cabin in the woods. What they are doing is so commonplace that all the technicians from different departments within the organization participate in a betting pool. The routine is actually entertaining, with enough slap-stick office banter to really drive home the point that these people are all very jaded to the events they create.
|Chicks dig creepy forests.|
Had this aspect of the film been introduced as the protagonists discovered it, it might have been better.
The rules for the sacrifice require five young people; an athlete, a whore, a student, a fool, and a virgin. The whore must die first, and the virgin must die last. At some point the whore must get topless. The five must volunteer to be slaughtered through their own transgressions, in this case going into the basement of the cabin and selecting from a variety of weird objects found there, each related to a different kind of monster and grisly fate. The virgin is the only member of the group which can be allowed to survive. If the sacrifice does not follow these guidelines, the Ancient Ones awaken and the world as we know it ends.
You know all this about half-way through the film, and most of it within the first 30 minutes.
|They do the Mash. They do the Monster Mash.|
The stoner is the fly in the ointment. The marijuana is inhibiting the chemical effects, and he sees what is going on. He doesn't see it in time, but he pieces it together enough for he and the heroine to make their way into the complex itself and inadvertently release all the horrors kept there into the complex.
The film is meant to be cliche, a sub-plot which introduces the real plot. As I stated, the film gives too much of itself away too quickly, so the revelation of the real plot is not really a surprise. I found myself waiting for them to just get to the point as the zombies shambled about the woods searching for their prey. The acting was fair, given that each character was meant to be a stereotypical caricature. The monster effects where on par with today's horror films. I was disappointed to see among the gallery of ghouls a Pin Head wanna-be, especially since these monsters where all supposed to be from our past.
Sigourney Weaver must not have had anything better to do.
The final reveal at the end was also a disappointment. Just a giant, but clearly human hand? Come on.
What other reviewers are raving about with this film, I must have missed. To me, it was just a way to piss away $30,000,027.... $30,000,000 in production costs and $27 for my tickets and popcorn.
We should have watched The Avengers.