Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - Movie Review

This is going to be a tough movie to write about, as I don't want to spoil it at all and to even give you too many non-spoiler details would be to deny you the same pleasure I got out of watching The Cabin in the Woods.

While Cabin doesn't necessarily have any twists that I need to avoid talking about, from the opening scene (featuring Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, and Whedon alum Amy Acker) you'll understand that you're about to watch something that isn't going to be your typical horror film.

Then, you're introduced to five friends that head up to a remote cabin for a vacation.  You think you know where this is headed right?  Wrong!

It's very funny, smart and self-referential of the horror genre.  There are so many great lines and references that I can see myself watching this a few more times just so I can pick up on everything.  It also transcends the typical slasher flick, much like movies like the first Scream, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil or even Behind the Mask.  After watching The Cabin in the Woods, I think this will change you way you watch any horror film from this point on.  One of the great things is that actually ruins really bad horror films and takes them to task.  From what I heard from the filmmakers, that was actually one of their goals.

Cabin was actually shot back in 2009, but it got shelved for a few years for various reasons.  I point this out because you may notice that Chris Hemsworth looks younger and less muscular than he did in last summer's Thor
One thing that I appreciated about the film is how it actually makes you root for the kids.  Normally in these slasher flicks, they are so generally unlikeable or disposable that you actually want to see them die in horrific ways.  In Cabin, the story develops in a such a way that you actually feel for them.  The cast is rounded out by Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, and another Whedon alum, Fran Kranz.  They are all great here.

It's killing me because even just telling you what I've said so far, I feel like I'm revealing too much.  I might be a little influenced by the fact that before the screening the Lionsgate rep asked that we not Tweet or post on Facebook too much about the film as they wanted to avoid spoilers.  However, I feel like I might be setting your expectations too high now, so let me interrupt this by saying, "It sucks!  Don't go see it!"

Co-written and produced by (the man!) Joss Whedon, and I think this will make all the Whedonites very happy.  His work here makes me look forward to The Avengers so much more now.  Directed and co-written by Drew Goddard, who also wrote Cloverfield, which is arguably the best of all of the 'found footage' films.  These guys absolutely nailed it!  Another note about Goddard is that he's currently working on the Cloverfield sequel and another movie called Robopocalypse, which Steven Spielberg is attached to direct, so I'm looking forward to both of those.

If you're any kind of horror fan, then you're in for a treat.  You will love The Cabin in the Woods!  Even if you aren't a huge horror fan, the comedy and fresh take on the genre should be entertaining for most movie goers.  I highly recommend checking it out this Friday the 13th!

I'm a little torn here.  It's not perfect, so I can't really give this 5 Death Stars, but this is easily one of my favorite horror films, so I'm going to give an unprecedented rating here:

4.75 (out of 5) Death Stars!


  1. From scene to scene, moment to moment, you’re absolutely invested in seeing what happens next, if only to see what kind of tricks these film-makers have up their sleeves. It's also a film that’s as bloody as it is funny, but also scary at the same time. Nice review right here Erik. Definitely one of the funnest horror movies I've seen in quite some time.

    1. I couldn't agree more! The more I think about Cabin, the move I love it and can't wait to see it again. This one is definitely going on the 'must own' list.

      In my haste to write about the film, I forgot to even mention how bloody the movie ends up being. :)