Review of The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

27 Apr

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is a horror/comedy/mystery film, which adds a little more to the stock horror clichés.

Directed by Drew Goddard. This movie is his directorial debut.

Written by Joss Whedon (Alien: Resurrection (1997), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 TV)) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield (2008), Lost (2004 TV)).

Starring: Fran Kranz, Anna Hutcherson, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Jesse Williams and others.

Watching the trailer I was quite intrigued by this movie, a “cabin in the woods” movie, which turns out to be something more. Sounds good enough to me! However, the trailer also created this misconception, that it is totally a standard college kid horror flick until it turns out there’s more to it, which would mean the movie is already spoiled. And that’s what I’m going to be very careful about, because there’s a lot to spoil. However, the movie opens with a scene in some scientific facility, so they’re really not hiding this fact, but they do keep to themselves a lot about why all the stuff that is being done there is done.

It is best to avoid knowing anything about the movie, since there’s so many twists and turns, which combined with the mysterious organization that is behind it, makes the movie really unpredictable.

There is some genre-bending as it slides from the usual horror stuff to some comedic lines, to the very dark meta humor, that is going on in the control room, where Jenkins and Whitford …control stuff, which intentionally plays on their similarity to horror screenwriters picking out from various stock monsters, characters and settings.

The college kid characters are the basic jock/slut/smart guy/comic relief/virgin ensemble, but here there is a reason for it and they are actually likable and not one note, they all have at least a little bit more to their characters, but they are forced to show only these sides of them. And the comic relief stoner guy is very funny and seems to be the only one who actually is aware that their vacation is turning into a horror movie. At one point the jock (played by Thor) suggests they should split up and he’s the only one who goes like “Really?”. And this was one of the rare times in a horror movie, where I really didn’t want any of the kids to die.

It is a movie for both the horror savvy and the not so much. Because for the horror fans this can be like a game, where you laugh about the next cliché that is thrown at the characters and guess what is a reference to what. Like “Hey, is that guy with the buzzsaws in his head a reference to Pinhead from Hellraiser?” or “Hey, is that werewolf a reference to any werewolf movie in existence?”, so it’s really fun. The other group can give into the suspense, jump at the jumpscares and laugh about the comedy.

Also it has a great cameo at the very end. I think I’ll stop right here, because the less is said about the movie, the better it is to watch it. It is a beautiful mess, where not everything is explained and it only gains from it.

Overall, a very fun, entertaining and clever film. Definitely recommended for both horror fans and those who just like some thrills with their laughs.

"Wow, I'm not doing that with my arms! ...oh, and also I'm not a girl..."

7 Responses to “Review of The Cabin in the Woods (2011)”

  1. Aloha Mister Hand April 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Very neat, and great post!
    I still have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I want to see it, just a little. On the other, I think it looks really stupid from the previews. Maybe I’m just being cynical? But your review does make me a bit more intrigued about this film! 🙂

    • karlails April 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      The previews make it seem a lot more serious than it actually is. I think you should see it, there’s a lot that is directed towards and probably only a horror fan will get. If you don’t like it, you can blame me and leave a hateful comment afterwards on here. 😀

      • Aloha Mister Hand April 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

        Hahaha, yeah, I might see it! It’s just hard to get me to shell out so much money for a movie ticket and stuff, ya know? But don’t worry, I would never leave you a hateful comment! LOL!

        • karlails April 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

          Oh, thanks, that’s sweet. 🙂
          But yeah, spending money is a very expensive hobby.

          • Aloha Mister Hand April 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

            Well, of course! Why would I leave you a hateful comment? That would just be ridiculous! LOL 🙂
            Yes, spending money is expensive, lmao! The only movie I have seen in the past YEAR in theaters is The Hunger Games! It just seems more and more like a rip off every time!

            • karlails April 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

              I go to theaters about two times a month and sometimes it does really feel like a rip off, especially if you decide to get popcorn and maybe a drink, so you just double the cost, then there’s all the people and so on. I can certainly see why one would not go very often.

              • Aloha Mister Hand April 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

                Haha, definitely, it’s almost a process, a struggle, just to see a movie! Insanity…..:)

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