Tag Archive: Richard Jenkins


Horror needed The Cabin in the Woods.

I don’t necessarily mean it needed another self-reflective, meta, deconstructive look at the genre and its various cliches. One of those every few years is just fine, thank you. But what it did need was a slap-in-the-face reminder of just how good, original and powerful the genre can be, particularly at the theatrical level. Sure, there have been decent enough horror films over the last few years, but when was the last game-changer? The last film with this sort of word of mouth? The last “knocks you right out of your seat, you can’t believe how great it is” masterpiece? I know some will point to Paranormal Activity, but that was just a more popular and better-received version of a sub-genre already going at the time, and all it really did was unleash a wave of predictable sequels and wannabes. The Cabin in the Woods is something else entirely. This is Next Level film-making.

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The Rum Diary, which could just as easily be titled “Hunter S. Thompson Begins,” is an adaptation of the famous Gonzo journalist’s semi-autobiographical novel about a young American reporter named Paul Kemp, who goes to work for a struggling newspaper in Puerto Rico, only to soon find himself embroiled in a love triangle, a political conspiracy, AND battling a near constant state of chemically-induced mind alteration. The movie holds two exciting prospects for fans of Johnny Depp – to see him once again play one of Thompson’s kinda-fictional alter-egos (as he did so memorably in the great Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas), and to finally see him in a real adult movie again, after what feels like years of family-friendly fare (I guess you could point to The Tourist, but why bother?).

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