18 August, 2012

Cabin in the Woods with David Neary

It’s time for some movie fun. It’s a new concept that’s based on the idea of “Dessert Island” and a “Top Ten Films List” combined. Some of my friends from the Twitterverse have been kind enough to take on the challenge of telling us about 5 movies that they would want with them if they were in a Cabin in the Woods under different scenarios. Someone is snowed in while another is confined to the cabin as a toxic gas is leaked around them. Would you want to scare the people you are with or maybe get comfy with your better half with your choice of films? 
Our next contributor is David Neary,who had to choose his films based on the fact that his supposed romantic vacation turned into a somewhat family vacation...

“You book a romantic Cabin in the Woods with your girlfriend looking for some alone time. When you get to the spot you realise it is a family vacation spot with kids everywhere and no sign of romance. Which 5 films would you want to have with you and why?”

There are three things you need to aim for here:
1.  Long films; so that if a neighbour knocks on the door of your cabin asking “can you help get our truck out of the mud”, you can respond “Oh, I’m just in the middle of a movie, will be right with you...” Hopefully your movie won’t end for another three hours.
2.  Films that are brilliant but would bore children; this will stop children hanging around your window trying to get a peek, or thinking you’re the cool neighbour with whom they can try and hang around.
3.  Loud films; for drowning out screaming, shrieking, yelling, and other horrible noises young people and their beleaguered parents produce.
With these things in mind...

Film #1. No child could take pleasure in it, but I will never not enjoy a rewatch – NETWORK. Every re-viewing brings something new, and all that glorious acting and blistering dialogue will keep you entertained and make sure no one under 20 comes near the place.

Film #2. It has to be AIRPLANE! Let the sound of your own laughter drown out the infantile horrors outside the cabin. If your laughing piques their curiosity, let them know the jokes are for adults only, and to go away, you’re trying to watch one of the greatest (and most re-watchable) comedies ever written.

Film #3. ALIEN. Because it’s Alien. Because the screaming and noise will freak out the little buggers trying to listen from outside. Because if they try to glimpse in through a window they will see the worst things from their nightmares. Because I love it.

Film #4. As long films go, I’d normally say Lawrence of Arabia, but seeing it on the small screen (I assume my cabin hasn’t a built-in cinema) just won’t do. Instead I’m opting for Sergei Bondarchuk’s WAR & PEACE. Roughly seven hours long and never dull, it is just a superb epic. The topic and subtitles would turn away any nosey children, and the length allows you to be shut off from socialising for the rest of the day. Plus, it’s divided into five chapters, so you can easily take opportunities to pause it and attend to other activities – you’re still watching the movie, just in case anyone calls around. Also, it’s one I’ve been meaning to rewatch, but lord knows when I’d have the time!

Film #5. Need a little catharsis? A film where young people are terrorised in the woods would help. But Friday the 13th, The Blair Witch Project and even The Cabin in the Woods are all too obvious. No, what you need is proper terror, and more importantly vengeance. That’s why it has to be ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES. Who needs to see teenagers stabbed when you can watch younger children and their over-protective parents terrorised by Christina Ricci during a play about Thanksgiving!? The perfect one to watch to let you know how best to deal with the people beyond the log walls.

David Neary is an Irish film critic and historian. Obsessively devoted to film since his teens, his excessively broad tastes range from Ozu and Renoir to the guys who made Crank. He can be found on Twitter via his handle @DeusExCinema and you can read his blog http://thefilmcricket.wordpress.com

If you would like to participate and would like me to send you a unique scenario, simply Email Me 


  1. Excellent concept. Interesting read; makes one think.

    1. Thank you... just drop me a line if you ever want to take part :-)

  2. Why it took me until last year to finally see Network I don't know. It's a bit of genius from one of my favourite filmmakers Siney Lumet. Great choice!

    Great set up Raghav! :)

    1. You know I saw network growing up, but it was at a time when I probably didn't get most of it. I really need to pick up a copy and rewatch it now.


  3. Thanks David for an excellent list and playing around with the scenario.