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Review: The Cabin in the Woods

April 15, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

  • Starring:  Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Amy Acker (Dollhouse), and Kristen Connolly (Revolutionary Road)
  • Directed by: Joss Whedon
  • Synopsis: “Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen.
    If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.” (Collider)
  • Rated: R for strong intense violence and bloody horror, language, gore, brief nudity and brief drug usage
  • Trailer:

Watching that trailer tells you almost NOTHING about the film.

The taglines for this film serve as great reviews or teasers for this work of Joss Whedon in and of themselves:

  • “Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen.”
  • “If you hear a strange sound outside…have sex.”
  • “If you think you know this story, think again.”

Yep, that’s what happens. 😀 But, the most telling is that last one. You think you know the story. I assure you, you do not. Let me tell you this: if more horror movies were like this, I might be more of a fan of the blood-filled genre.

Before I continue, allow me to share with you how dauntingly difficult it is to write this review without spoiling the film. There is so much that is intriguing and fun about this film, but to mention the specifics would be to ruin several of the surprises. There are no spoilers in this review (as usual), but to truly get the feel and understanding of the uniqueness of this film, you must go see it for yourself.

"The better to eat you with, my dear!"

Director Joss Whedon (Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) brings a fun twist to the horror genre with a film that makes fun of the genre at the same time as making it interesting and, plainly put, not dull. So much points to the stereotypical things you see in horror movies nowadays: The scary loaner old dude who forebodes of danger, the dumb ditsy blonde, the athletic jock who’s not so smart, the comic relief, and more…it’s a riot to watch!

With a unique story that takes several twists and turns in multiple directions much like the poster below, The Cabin in the Woods teases in so many inexplicable ways and once you think you really know the story…BOOM, it introduces another entertaining spin of a level to the story.

Needless to say, I was highly entertained.

As I sat in the theater, hoping that this wouldn’t turn out to be another run of the mill slasher movie, I enjoyed the fact that it made fun of such stereotypes in the genre. Believable acting and special effects for a horror film makes it even better.Whedon’s direction and style of storytelling permeates throughout the entire film…and that is a good thing.

Along with a multi-faceted cast including Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth and Billy Madison‘s Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods is a story that may just birth some new believers in the idea that originality can indeed still exist in Hollywood and horror.

Do you think any of them will run upstairs when they are chased? 😀

While my attention was kept and the end-result remained a guessing game all the way to the end, I left the film still feeling a slight sense of dissatisfaction. The film was odd, creepy, entertaining, and yet still somewhat unsatisfying. (It is something I cannot truly explain without risking spoiling the film.) Guessing who lives and who dies is commonplace in movies like this, but when some of the numerous twists take place it adds even more fun to the guessing game as a whole.  At times you will laugh so much that you may even forget that it is not a comedy, but is, in fact, a horror film…that is, until another decapitation or disembowelment takes place (and even then, you may be laughing).

What a smorgasboard of laughs, shocks, screams, slashes, and twists/turns! Take a visit to The Cabin in the Woods…I guarantee it will be a visit to a secluded cabin in the middle of a scary woods with no help in sight that you will never…ever…forget. It is a fun horror flick that is imaginative, interesting, and indignantly makes fun of similar horror films that bore and reek of repetitiveness and unoriginality.

Some of the best things I can say to describe this film have already been said in this promo poster. Read it for yourself:

I surprisingly give this film a score of:

4 out of 5 stars for The Cabin in the Woods

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: Movie News Monday

40 Comments leave one →
  1. yesimthatguy permalink
    April 15, 2012 6:26 pm

    If you like funny,mock the genre horror films watch Slither… It is from ’05, but well worth a look


    • April 16, 2012 12:10 pm

      hahaha “Slither”. I forgot about that one! Thanks for commenting!


  2. April 15, 2012 6:40 pm

    Yes! I knew I could count on you to be reasonable. LOL. SO many people seem to be getting kind of carried away here…

    It was a really good flick! I liked it a lot. But I bet I know what you’re talking about about being dissatisfied. And I cant believe so many people are overlooking that…

    Nice review buddy. Glad to see it.


    • April 16, 2012 1:58 am

      You know what’s strange? I’m usually the person who questions thing like this when they happen in films. I question until I’m blue in the face. But this time – for whatever reason – I just accepted it. Very against my nature! But I was happy to accept the very bizarre ending and just go with it. Though, a big part of me was expecting the Hellmouth demon from Buffy to crawl out…


      • April 16, 2012 12:17 pm

        haha. that would’ve been funny. I kept looking for Firefly, Buffy, and/or Angel references!


    • April 16, 2012 12:12 pm

      haha. “reasonable!”

      Thanks Fogs! I’m assuming your reviewed it and scored it similarly then. I will be sure to visit today! I took a break from blogging over the weekend, with the exception of this post.

      hope you had a good weekend too.


  3. Amy permalink
    April 15, 2012 6:58 pm

    I wish I were more a fan of scary movies but the truly terrify me. I get one maybe two in a year and they can’t be super scary lol.


    • April 16, 2012 12:13 pm

      Well, trust me, with this one, there may just be more laughs than screams for sure.


  4. Paula permalink
    April 15, 2012 9:21 pm

    Wow. I am not into the horror genre at all, but reading this makes me think i should give it a shot. At least rent it. Thanks T!


    • April 16, 2012 12:15 pm

      I really think you should. Esp as it pokes fun at so much that we actually get bored with or hate about horror movies nowadays. Jaina summed up a lot very well in her comment.


      • Paula permalink
        April 18, 2012 6:03 pm

        I just watched the trailer again & I think it’s a bit intense for the theater. I will definitely rent it though.


      • April 20, 2012 7:38 pm

        I look forward to your thoughts should you venture to watch it!


  5. April 16, 2012 12:00 am

    This is one i’ve been anticapating. Glad you liked it


    • April 16, 2012 12:16 pm

      I think you will also like it very much Julian.

      How was your weekend? Did you see anything? Haven’t been over to your page in a couple days, but did you review The Hunger Games?


      • April 16, 2012 4:17 pm

        I’m working on a couple of reviews right now, including the Hunger games


      • April 17, 2012 8:09 pm

        sweet! I will be keeping a look out for them.


  6. April 16, 2012 12:43 am

    Great film! Heard a lot of comparisons to Scream but I think they are too different to compare and I don’t think this is likely to have the same impact!


    • April 16, 2012 2:04 am

      I can see the comparisons to Scream – Scream deconstructs the horror film genre by the characters knowingly talking about what’s meant to happen in a horror film. Whereas Cabin deconstructs with the actions of the characters. I’d say similar, but definitely not the same.


      • April 16, 2012 12:18 pm

        very well stated Jaina.

        I enjoyed Cabin more than Scream. I can’t really explain it, but the sequels to Scream and the parodies of Scary Movie kinda ruined Scream’s appeal to me as well.


    • April 16, 2012 12:16 pm

      Yes. I can see how some would compare it to Scream, but I am with you in that they are too different.


      • April 17, 2012 2:06 am

        I think that’s why I stayed away from the Scary Movie franchise.

        The Scream sequels I love. Well, 2 and 3. They’re not great by any means of the word, but they keep up the same themes. Albeit, not as well as the first. Scream 4? Well, that was just …. enjoyable but trash!


      • April 17, 2012 8:12 pm

        You were smart to avoid the Scary Movie franchise. Where were you to keep me from them during my college years?! haha


      • April 18, 2012 9:26 am

        I’ll just get my time machine and fix that!


      • April 18, 2012 10:28 am

        That’s what I’m talking about! Jaina, you’re the best! lol


  7. April 16, 2012 2:07 am

    I see your shortcomings about the ending but by then, I don’t think I cared too much. I saw that that was potentially where it was going (smacked of a mixture of Buffy and Angel eps) and was quite happy to let them just unfold it all.

    What I’m happy about with this film is that it is getting talked about and it is getting good critical reviews. It isn’t just another found footage horror film. It’s not another exorcism horror flick. It’s something different. Which is what the horror genre is in desperate need of. Hopefully, it’ll start making studios think again about the horror they back.


    • April 16, 2012 12:21 pm

      Right? It’s not another exorcism, found footage, possession horror flick. Being something different really worked in its favor.

      I hope that more horror films take cues from the Cabin.


      • April 17, 2012 2:15 am

        Me too. But I hope they don’t just see what they have seen and think they can just blatantly copy it!


      • April 17, 2012 8:12 pm

        true. Well, they can copy it by means of using originality. but only that!


  8. April 16, 2012 2:43 am

    I am pleased you liked it T. I loved it very much, probably more than I should but hey. It was just so much fun!


    • April 16, 2012 12:22 pm

      it was a lot of fun and that made it so much more enjoyable. Man, I had no idea what to expect. ha


  9. April 16, 2012 9:06 am

    I really liked the feeling of unpredictability that permeated this entire movie. You got the feeling that Goddard and Whedon were really throwing ideas at a dart board and seeing what stuck. The last act was just insane. Everything didn’t completely work, but it’s great to see them take a shot.

    On a random note, I also enjoyed in your review how you listed Bradley Whitford as being from Billy Madison. I’m not sure he’s putting that at the top of his resume. Nice review!


    • April 16, 2012 12:28 pm

      haha. I am so glad someone picked up on the Billy Madison use in the review! Good eye! thanks for commenting.

      I was glad for the guts that Whedon and Goddard had in creating this film. It really was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be.


  10. April 16, 2012 1:34 pm

    I must admit I was entertained and intrigued at the beginning of this film, but by the end I was booing and throwing popcorn at the movie screen. This movie had som much potential at the beginning, but failed miserably at the end. I agree it was also hard for me to write my review without giving away too much. All I have to say is that it could have used a little more fine tuning at the end. Unlike you, I felt it was a blood bath that fell in line with all the other lame horror flicks. This movie atrarted out with a great idea that ended all wrong…lol. Glad u and ur followers liked it…I enjoyed ur review, but totally disliked this movie…HORRIBLE! Lol


    • April 17, 2012 8:08 pm

      haha. I just read/commented on your review! Your comment is now even more enjoyable! haha

      Thanks for reading and sharing your fun thoughts.


  11. April 17, 2012 8:23 pm

    I don’t know how it escaped me that Whedon is directing this. Well, I don’t have the nerves for horror flick so I’ll be skipping it. So I guess Hemsworth is working w/ Whedon back-to-back then, they must become best buds now, ahah.


    • April 17, 2012 8:34 pm

      i understand your hesitance, and while i am not a horror fan, I will tell you, I enjoyed this quite a bit.

      It’s funny that people talk about M. Night Shyamalan and Christopher Nolan using the same actors quite a bit, but Joss Whedon has done that numerous times as well. with Chris Hemsworth, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and others!


      • April 18, 2012 9:29 am

        I always expect a Whedonite to be in anything Joss does these days! Here we had Fran, Amy and Tom Lenk (who played the intern). But it was so cool seeing crew members from the ol’ Buffy/Angel days up in the opening credits too.


      • April 18, 2012 10:27 am

        yeah, I noticed that. it’s always fun!


    • April 18, 2012 9:28 am

      He didn’t direct this, he did write alongside Drew Goddard though. Drew was the master behind the direction here and he did a brilliant job in my eyes.



  1. Movie News Monday for September 17, 2012 « The Focused Filmographer

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