Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Upfront: I am a bit of a Whedonite.  There are plenty of things I am critical about and wholeheartedly think are bad in Firefly, Buffy, and Angel but overall I’m a huge fan of those series and what they do.   I don’t mind Alien Resurrection and  I have never gone back to watch any Rosanne.  Whedon wrote the movie.  Drew Goddard, the director, I am not familiar with at all but according to IMDB he was a writer on several Buffy and Angel episodes.  The Cabin in the Woods is a difficult movie to talk about because there is so much to spoil so I will keep it simple and basic.  There are two parts to this movie each with their own cast.  The actual cabin in the woods section stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Kristen Connolly, Ann Hutchison, Fran Kranz (Topher from Dollhosue) and Jesse Williams.  The other half primarily features Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, and Amy Acker (Fred from Angel, Illyria from Angel, Dr Saunders from Dollhouse).  Cabin in the Woods is an outward examination of typical horror movie tropes.

The premise of the movie is five friends are going to a cousin’s cabin out in the middle of nowhere.  Naturally once there partying and sexual encounters ensue and then the horror movie starts.  The thing of it is, this isn’t really a horror movie.  Much of the movie takes place through the eyes of observers and their commentary.  Comedy more than horror.  The intro to the movie actually had me thinking I was in the wrong theater and needed to go find the right one before I missed something important.  This is a genuinely fun  and clever movie.  Its not going to blow your mind like a Donnie Darko  but it is going to give you lasting memories and quotes like a Sam Raimi or John Carpenter flick.

There have been a lot of Evil Dead comparisons going around.  This movie is sure to be a cult classic similar to Evil Dead (allegedly The Three Stooges remake is outselling it so criteria one of poor box office sales will more than likely be met).  The problem with that comparison is the original Evil Dead was an actual horror movie.  Evil Dead 2 or even better Army of Darkness are much better comparisons.  With that said, other than being comedy horrors the movies are nothing alike.  Saw or Hostel torture porn fans will be severely disappointed.  Don’t expect to see much gore or in much detail.  Do expect to see a lot of clever killing devices such as a large man wielding a bear trap on a long chain.  There is blood and there are painful parts but oftentimes the movie find ways of moving away from it.

This movie is good enough that it is worth seeing it in the theaters.  The visuals and sound don’t benefit from being in a theater so waiting for home video won’t hurt.

Personally I highly recommend this movie to basically anyone that can stand a little bit of a blood that has a healthy sense of humor.  Yes there are plot holes but every movie has plot holes.  Its really up to you to decide whether to tolerate them or not.  I’ve purposely only talked about the kids in the cabin portion of the movie because the other portion is too rich with hilarity to spoil even a bit of.  The actors all deliver their roles efficiently enough but I think most will find Fran Kranz and the commentators stealing the show.  The director does a wonderful job with the environments but there are times where I wish there was less CG.  My personal advice: Go see it as soon as you can.  I will be purchasing it on Blue Ray as soon as its available.


About MusiM
Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

One Response to Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods

  1. Momotarutaru says:

    I’ve been wondering about this film, since I’m a fan of Whedon, too. I’ll have to drag my boyfriend to check it out. Thanks for the review!

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