The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Movie Review
Tags: , , , ,

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Directed By: Drew Goddard

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Steve Hadley

Subgenre: Zombies

Cabin in the Woods

Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen.

Thoughts: First off, I am going to avoid major spoilers in this review, but I will be talking about some plot points.  I highly suggest that if you are reading this and have yet to see the movie; stop reading it and go see this movie.  I don’t recommend that you read ANY reviews before going to see this.  It’s not there are major twists and turns, but knowing too much going in will spoil the fun.

I did all I could to avoid knowing too much about this going in, but it was tough.  I saw a trailer, the one where the eagle meets its demise, and I thought that was a bit too much for a trailer.  The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t hold anything back in the way of secrets, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard let you know exactly what is going on the entire time, which in lies the genius of this movie.  There is no M. Night Shymalan like twists, although this movie keeps turning up the volume each and every scene, challenging viewers to look at horror movies in a different way.  The key to success here is that they don’t get “preachy.”  This movie turns the genre on its ear, but still pays a heavy homage to its predecessors.  The nods and winks to the genre we all love were dizzying in the frequency they flashed across the screen.  I can’t wait until the Blu Ray to get a closer, paused look at some of the scenes.

The acting was superb.  The five friends (Connolly, Hemsworth, Hutchinson, Kranz, and Williams) were so well rounded in their delivery that I just became   immersed in their interactions.  Normally, in a horror movie, you are lucky to get one, maybe two decent performances, but in Cabin in the Woods, each and every player delivers.  My favorite casting, by far, was Fran Kranz, who played pothead savant Marty.  While the cast of the friends was spot on, this movie would not have been the same without the casting of Richard Sitterson and Steve Hadley, the two “technicians.”  Their comedic relief was always perfectly delivered.  You may have heard by now that there is a major cameo at the end of the movie.  While I thought the appearance of this cameo was pretty cool, there are a handful of other choices I would have picked to really send this over the top (Bruce Campbell anyone?).

I was highly impressed with Drew Goddard’s direction, even if it was steered by Joss Whedon.  While Cabin is quite the debut, Goddard will have to deliver a couple of more solid performances before genre fans really give him a pass.  Such is the life when you work with a powerhouse producer like Joss Whedon.

One of my favorite parts of Cabin is that there are so many little nuggets that I can remember that are really cool or that make me laugh; the Merman, the “husband bulge” and Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain being just a couple.  This movie is just so DAMN MUCH FUN, that you have to go and see it (which, if you listened to me, you would have prior to reading this far).

It isn’t very often that I feel the need to really sing a new movies praises, but you have to go and see this.  While there are a few scary parts, this movie is a loving homage to the movies that make this genre great.  Where Whedon and Goddard really screw with your head, is that this is also a wakeup call to the genre, much like Scream was in the 90s.  It’s a challenge to movie makers to not follow the status quo and to give us something unique.  It seems like Cabin is getting an audience, let’s just hope enough people are listening.

  1. Mike says:

    Looks like a pretty good movie, I rarely go to the theater anymore but this one looks like one to change that a bit.
    Check out the new Movietalk Forums –

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