A Simple Favor

119 min.

Batshit crazy, pretty much the entire story and the people involved. But in such a stupidly entertaining way.

a simple favor posterBesides that, there’s jealousy-inducing wardrobes involved, Anna Kendrick showing that she can act and that Blake Lively can’t play anything other than the Serena Woodsen – good thing her character isn’t the emotional type.

Super mom Stephanie befriends super cool aloof power woman (whom happens to be a mom as well) Emily. Emily has some weird habits, but look at the house and the outfits and the martinis! And then she goes missing.

During what follows, pretty much everyone is a suspect, red herrings and embellishments are thrown out left and right, and the women are well dressed (and Henry Young’s character as well).

Could all this have been cut down to a brighter Gone Girl? Very probably, but the two hours would have been far too much then. Better to just keep it as a sugar rush roller-coaster.

A Simple Favor, Lionsgate 2018

The Cabin in the Woods

105 min.

The Cabin in the Woods was being hauled for being a fresh take on the very-well-chewed horror and (teenage) gore genre. It’s clear that that’s how the movie starts off as well, down to the tagline: You think you know the story. Well, even if you didn’t know the story to start with (dumb(, drunk) teenagers make dumb mistakes in horror setting), the movie hits you around the head with it quite often. Too often.

Lionsgate 2013
Lionsgate 2013

The – quite old looking – “teenagers” fill the known cliches, there is a grumpy, creepy guy on the road to their cabin and there’s a selection of triggers to make the horrors come out. Only this time there are people disappointed that they went with the red neck zombies again because darn how do you ever win a bet on ways to die like this? The cabin is there for a reason, as are the death traps and the monsters. An underground company has control over a lot of nightmare creations that they can use to kill for the satisfaction of the gods living deep underneath the earth’s crust. If they don’t get their rituals, the end of the world will happen.

That’s a semi-original route to take, a nice meta comment about horror and its tropes. So why does the film try so very hard to be an unoriginal horror film? Why is there too much time spent on another gory death instead of the story about the organization, the god (how did they restrain it? How did they set up a deal with it?) or how they even find their victims for the rituals?

A for effort, D for the finished product.

The Cabin in the Woods, Lionsgate 2013