Movie Roundup 2012: April Part One (The Cabin In The Woods and African Cats)

2012 has been a great year for movies. With a superb array of films coming from almost every genre we at Sound And Motion wanted to celebrate this fact, and bring you our lowdown on what we think have been the key pictures this year, from January to December.




Released: April 13th.

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Jesse Williams.

Directed by: Drew Goddard.


What originally looked to be just another zombie movie with the typical formula of attractive characters and a backwater location, Drew Goddard’s directorial debut The Cabin In The Woods turned out to be one of the most surprising movies of the year.

Five college friends, Dana the “virgin”(Kristen Connolly), Jules the slut(Anna Hutchinson), Marty the stoner(Fran Kranz), Curt the jock(Christ Hemsworth) and Holden the token(Jesse Williams), drive off campus for a weekend of frolics and fornication at a cabin in the woods, but when they get there, after speaking to a creepy guy at a gas station, they find themselves cut off and completely isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world.

Settled in the friends get to partying- drinking, smoking, flirting- but they get interrupted when the cellar door opens up all by itself. In true horror movie style they all go down to investigate, and unwittingly unleash a family of deadly zombie killers intent on tearing them limb from limb.

But that isn’t the only terror waiting for them.


From its beginning The Cabin In The Woods, as we said earlier, plays out like a bog-standard teen horror flick. Five friends, all of them filling well-worn slasher stereotypes, go off into the woods for a weekend of sinful fun, only to be killed off one by one by zombies. That seeming normality is its biggest ploy.

Relaxing the audience into believing they’re just watching a pretty funny retelling of the same subject matter they’ve seen and enjoyed before, Joss Whedon, the writer, plays a massive wildcard that no one, even the most wacky viewer, could possibly have seen coming. Many of you have probably seen this film by now, but for those that haven’t- we won’t spoil the surprise.

The Cabin In The Woods is, for some, the movie of the year and, while we won’t go that far before December ends, we think that’s a pretty fair thing to say.




Released: April 27th.

Narrated by: Samuel L Jackson.

Directed by: Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill.


African Cats, an epic tale set against the backdrop of the savannah, captures the real-life love, humour and determination of three majestic kings and queens of the Masai Mara Nature Reserve; Mara, a lion cub whose struggle to survive is aided by her mother’s strength, Sita, a fearless Cheetah and mother to five cubs, and Fang, a fearless leader who must defend his family from a once banished Lion.

Narrated by Samuel L Jackson the preconceptions of African Cats aren’t exactly favourable. A bit like March Of The Penguins but starring hairy critters with manes and claws that eat everything the movie is absolutely  stunning, just as you would expect, but the choice of storyteller seems strange at first; if Morgan Freeman were narrating a Lion chasing a Gazelle you might be tempted to side with the prey, urge it to survive. Surely Samuel L Jackson would make you want to yell “Die mother fucker! Die!”, but apart from a bit of weak scripting at times, apparently “Fang is the best dad ever”, he surprises, and does the job well.


The perfect movie for animal lovers African Cats is a beautiful picture- the wildlife of the savannah is captured beautifully and aww moments are frequent- but life can be cruel at times, especially if you’re a Zebra, or Cheetah cub. Flashes of horror and tooth and claw are common.

Shot by Disneynature African Cats is a movie for kids that is perfection for adults too. Animal lover or not you’ll be captivated, and wonder at the nature of the African plains.


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