Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cabin Fever

If you've been reading around the film corners of the web in the past week you probably would've come across the furore over Roadshow deciding not release The Cabin in the Woods in theatres and sending it straight to DVD and Blu-ray. If you haven't here's a quick run-down:

  • Cabin in the Woods is a horror flick directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Joss Whedon of Firefly, Buffy and The Avengers fame. Check out the trailer here.
  • It's been generating a lot of buzz since its US release, and currently sitting on a healthy 72 score on Metacritic.
  • Roadshow Films in Australia announce on tumblr that it won't be getting a theatrical release there, which more than likely means it won't get one here.
  • Fans go ballistic: go to Roadshow's facebook page and check out the comments. A lot of calls for pirating the film as a response.
  • A petition page is set up.
However disappointing this is - and fans certainly have a point of the film possibly being able to piggyback on The Avengers' success - I'm not really all that surprised that it's going to DTV. Heaps of horror films get dumped on DVD regularly here, and Cabin - quality of the movie notwithstanding - seems like it would fit in that scheme of things.

The last few biggish horror films that received a theatrical in NZ had a bit more going for them: Paranormal Activity 3 was already an established and successful franchise, Fright Night had the Colin Farrell (not sure how much of a pull Farrell is these days but..) and Twilight-vampire angle (more attractive than cabins!) ... I can't remember what else came out recently, which says enough about the faith of distributors in the ability of the genre to make money in this country. Going against Cabin? The generic, DTV-ready title, lack of name stars (local actors don't really equate box-office pull), that nebulous, puzzle-box-type artwork, and Joss Whooo..? Let's face it: while Joss Whedon has a sizeable cult following, he's still very much niche, he hasn't achieved the clout of say, Christopher Nolan ("DIRECTOR OF THE DARK KNIGHT AND INCEPTION"). When you put it all in context of our small nation, Cabin starts to look like it probably wouldn't last long enough to make it worthwhile for the distributors to give it a theatrical release.

Anywho... my ideal solution (as someone who doesn't know tooo much about the business of theatrical distribution)? Have it sell out a few sessions at the film festival before heading to DVD...

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