Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Fast-paced, gory, and with a razor-sharp sense of humor, "The Cabin in the Woods" borrows elements from older horror films and twists them around, making them its own. Never since "Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil" have I seen such originality and creative scriptwriting in a modern horror-comedy.

 "The Cabin in the Woods" is truly a marvel to watch, and stands as an excellent addition to co-writer Joss Whedon's repertoire. The plot starts out "typical" and soon reveals itself to be a lot murkier (and more awesome) than it initially seemed.

   Five friends- innocent Dana (Kristen Connolly), "cool dude" Curt (Chris Hemsworth), slutty Jules (Anna Hutchinson), amusing pothead Marty (Fran Kranz), and sensitive guy Holden (Jesse Williams) go off on a trip to a cabin in the woods. Marty quickly establishes himself as my favorite, with his pseudo-profound pot-addled ramblings and surprising perceptiveness.

   But wait! Something is amiss! As the gang break the various rules of horror-film etiquette (Don't have sex. Don't go in the basement. Don't wander off...) they find themselves fighting for their lives. But it gradually becomes clear that a lot more then the lives of a couple of college kids may be at stake.

   Naturally, the pothead gets all the best lines from the very beginning, Marty establishes himself as a humorously addled and continuously likable presence, even if half the time you don't know what the hell he's talking about. The acting is good, not extraordinary but decent, particularly for this kind of movie.

   One of my favorite character actors, Richard Jenkins, is here as an ethically dodgy and somewhat dirty old man. The script is funny, cool, and sometimes willfully ludicrous, as characters get bear traps in the back and somehow get up with little to no permanent injuries.

   "The Cabin in the Woods" is definitely worth a watch to anyone who wants to see a new twist on an old story. You actually root for these kids to live, which is a rare occurrence in a dead-teenager movie. The script is often funny, sometimes hysterical, and worth a go for the killer-unicorn sequence alone. My professional opinion? Watch it, and don't take it too seriously.


  1. Good review Sarah. This was one hell of a fun movie that features twists that got better and better as the film went on. It also got crazier and crazier with each and every unpredictable twist it threw at us.

  2. Somehow I still haven't seen this one but something about intrigued me, sounds like it's not the run-of-the-mill horror flick. Will have to give this a rent one day, plus it doesn't hurt that it's got hunky Chris Hemsworth ;-)

  3. Yay! Very happy that you a) Saw Cabin and b) Enjoyed it! Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford made me LOL so hard from the get go. Love those two guys.

    Drew Goddard's one of my favourites from the Buffy/Angel days. Such a great combination of Joss' writing and Drew's directing. Am a firm believer that Joss is a far better writer than he is a director. The dialog is just so sharp!

  4. Great review! I LOVED Cabin in the Woods. It was like it took every horror cliché out there and made it fresh. Then I gave this to someone as a gift and they hated it. I still can't see how. This was one of my favorites from last year.

  5. I was really worried that this film might ruin my enjoyment of the new Evil Dead remake. It didn't but I did keep thinking about this film and how damn good it was throughout!

  6. Cabin in the Woods was THE most perfect horror/comedy that I've seen, probably EVER. I thought the twists were brilliant and the unicorn death scene is possibly one of the greatest ever death sceens caught on film. I loved how the film poked fun at the usual horror-genre tropes and it didn't take itself too seriously. This is exactly the route I think this genre need to go and I was amazed at how well executed the comedy and timing were. AMAZING!

  7. nice review, I really liked this when I first saw it at the theater. However, I started to appreciate it even more after watching the recently released Evil Dead. The numerous flaws in Evil Dead stand in sharp contrast to this superior film.

    1. Hell, I didn't even like the ORIGINAL "Evil Dead." When it comes to cheeseball grossness, I'm more of a "Dead Alive" kind of gal.

  8. As you saw in my recent review, I watched this mostly because Joss Whedon was involved and I ended up liking it, even though I'm not a big fan of horror. Horror comedies, however, seem to hold a lot more appeal for me.

  9. The Cabin in the Woods is The Evil Dead meets The Truman Show meets Big Brother meets…everything! It is a complete unique and bizarre film; I would recommend everyone to go see it! The film does a great job of not taking itself too seriously, but with a film like this, it’s hard to try to take it seriously.

    It gets better and better on rewatches.


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