The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Have a genre? Don’t worry, Joss Whedon will eventually eff with it.

The story centers around a group of five friends going on a quiet cabin retreat, only to scratch the surface of something so massive and horrific that they can only begin to fathom what might possibly be going on just as time quickly runs out.

In the past couple of years, the horror genre has sort of gone down the tubes with just about every other film being a carb0n-copy of another one. It can all get pretty damn annoying but that is unless you have Joss Whedon signed on to write, then you got yourselves something totally different in all of the right ways.

This is the same old stupid teenager story where a bunch of dumb, horny teenagers go out into the woods and stay in a cabin, when crazy shit starts to go d0wn and they all get knocked off one by one. That’s the generic premise we are used to getting with these films, which is what you get here in a way, but then the twists and turns come out like crazy. I don’t want to give anything away but what I will say is that certain things pop-up in the middle of the flick that changes this the way you look at this film forever. You get curve ball after curve ball here and things you wouldn’t expect to happen in a movie like this, happen and it’s all thanks to the crazy mind of Joss Whedon. It’s definitely more of a “fun” horror movie then anything else and you’ll probably be spending most of the time watching this flick, just wondering what’s going to happen next to these characters and this story itself. Basically, this plot goes anywhere and everywhere it wants to at it’s own pace and that is no problemo with me. I know all of this sounds very vague, but trust me it’s for your own safety.

What I liked most about this horror flick was not just how it’s got constant twists to it but it was also that I had a hell of a time with the whole film in general. The movie makes a lot of jokes towards itself, other horror movies, and the same old plot conventions we usually see but it’s not winking at the camera constantly, it’s actually a bit more wittier than the first 10 minutes may have you think. Essentially, it’s a horror movie that is about horror movies but doesn’t feel tired in the least bit like we have seen other spoofs start to become after the first 20 minutes. The jokes work and they actually had me laughing, which I haven’t gotten with a spoof-horror movie since ‘Scary Movie’ and maybe that’s even pushing it. I also have to say that as funny as this film may actually be, I still find plenty of other times where I really got scared by certain stuff, especially by the end. Once again giving too much away, the last act basically lets loose on everything that’s scary in the world and throws it right at your face to see which may start to surprise you by how freaky it may actually look. Now I mean I wasn’t petrified but there was definitely some moments that had me shaking up a bit in my boots in a more disturbed way really.

Maybe my biggest complaint with this whole film was how the film started to turn into this big-ass CGI bonanza that wouldn’t have been so bad if it were that the special effects were good, but instead they looked a little cheesy. This may sound like a small complaint but the film heavily relies on its CGI and special effects to get some of the creepiest and scariest stuff out there on-screen and it seems more like a B-movie than anything else. I don’t know where the budget for this one went, but it definitely was not it’s special effects.

The young cast here is all pretty good and features a couple of faces that may get very big after this, if aren’t all ready as it is. Chris Hemsworth has some likability to him as the school jock but is a lot cooler as Thor; Kristen Connolly is a nice, little cutie-eyed chick that obviously seems like she could be a lot better if here role weren’t written in such a jokey way; and Fran Kranz ends up stealing the whole show here as the stoner buddy that always has something smart and witty to say but in an annoying way either. The young cast is good, but aside from Kanz, aren’t really anything special. The other two juiciest roles here are given here to great character actors Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as….well…you’ll just have to wait and see.

Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is definitely one of the funnest horror movies to come out in some time with it’s twisty and unpredictable writing, tongue-in-cheek humor that works, and a whole fun feel to it that will definitely not disappoint anyone whether or not you like horror movies.



  1. Very good review, Dan! Every once in a while a movie comes along like that that even when watching it you can tell it’s going to be ‘game changer’. I love how they seemed to pull no punches and still managed to make a great horror film that transcends the genre.

  2. Great review. I agree with you on the whole horror taking a nose dive, but I can’t wait for the day ti gets better. LOL

    Honestly, before I read your review, I didn’t think much about this movie. To me, I felt that it was going to be a horror Truman Show. After reading your review, maybe I wouldn’t mind watching it.

  3. The trailer left me puzzled and now your review has left me even more intrigued. Very intrigued indeed….
    2012 is definitely Joss Whedon’s year. First Cabin in the Woods, then The Avengers. Yyiippeee!!!

  4. Great review my friend! Scary Movie definitely came to mind. I saw some other reviews mentioning Scream as well. Either way, this movie was bloody fun. Yea the special effects were nothing to write home about, but I do think they cared.

  5. Nice job! It is a hard movie to review when you do not want to spoil ANYTHING!! It is truly a film to experience without any expectations! It is one of the best of the year (so far) in my opinion–if just for creativity and originality.

    • It will definitely be coming up in my mind by the end of the year because it’s just so much damn fun and original. Might I remind you that I’m talking about a horror movie too! Thanks!

  6. Wow, I thought this was going to be another lame horror movie. With everyone raving about this I am eager to see it. Excellent review for what seems like an excellent movie.

  7. Good review, I enjoyed this movie a lot too.
    I even liked how the overarching moral of the story was the innate selfishness of the age group that made up the victims of the story.

  8. Great review Dan!

    Been a long time fan of Joss – back from the Buffy days. Though it soured a little bit when he came out with Dollhouse. This is definitely a return to form. I loved watching the opening titles – because there were so many familiar names! Including the likes of Shawna Tripic who worked with Joss back in the day.

    Having Drew as a writing partner and the director was also a great move. It’s clear the two work together brilliantly. I LOVED the dialog. Script was top notch, as was the direction. Each frame looked so deliberate.

    I love my horror films, so this was just a feast for me. I just lapped it up 😀

  9. This is definitely my favorite film so far of 2012. I didn’t really have a problem with the CG. I thought the effects were solid. Not only did I love this as as a horror movie, but I loved it as a parody as well. Fran Kranz cracked me up as Marty. I’ve already seen Cabin twice and plan to see it a third.

  10. Great review. It’s a hard one to write about without spoiling surprises but you managed it. I agree about the CGI. It struck me as pretty bad near the end and I usually don’t even notice things like that.

  11. Nice Review. I liked how the movie plays as a mockery of the horror genre rather then a spoof. Well written and directed and one of the best movies to come out so far in 2012.

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