I think this review is going to be very short and very vague, because I really can’t say much about the plot of this movie.
The Cabin in the Woods is the best film I’ve seen this year, so far. It’s still early days, so I don’t want to be conclusive about it, but subsequent movies will have to be quite good in order to beat it. Of course, we have Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises coming up, so it has some competition. Also, compared to some movies of previous years, like Kick-Ass, Splice, and District 9, it falls somewhat short. Personally I think the hype about it is overblown. If you’re reading this and haven’t seen the movie yet, please don’t think that this movie is a life-changer. It’s not. It’s just a quite fun self-referrential horror comedy. It will make you laugh, and it will scare you a little.
Now that we have the cynicism out of the way, I want to flag the positives. This movie is really enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the Scream movies and have a thing for gory horror comedies like The Evil Dead, you’ll love it.
It’s so incredibly hard for me to talk about this film without giving anything away. The first thing I have to say is “don’t watch the trailer!” , if you haven’t already. I’m one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand percent serious when I say this. I don’t know who put that thing together, but it gives away far too much. Trust me, you don’t want to watch it. If ever there was a movie to walk into knowing absolutely nothing, this is it. You will be so pleasantly surprised by where the plot goes. You will not see it coming, and it will delight you. If you have seen the trailer, fair enough. To be honest, I saw the trailer and there were still some nice twists along the way.
However, for those souls out there lucky enough to be living in the complete bliss of ignorance, I decided to recut the trailer personally in order to remove any and every possible spoiler there was. Don’t worry, this one is completely safe. Remember, this is a movie about five friends…in a cabin…in the woods.
And here’s the link incase the embedding doesn’t work:
Personally I think the film has a lot to say about conventions of horror, our expectations of horror, and the desires that we fulfil when we watch it. Whedon and Goddard know what they love and what they hate, and they respect and ridicule it endlessly. The last thirty minutes of the film are just insane. Every horror dream, or should I say “nightmare”, that you can imagine is realised on screen. References to Evil Dead are not all you will be supplied with. The film is full of homages to The Wolfman, The Thing, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Hellraiser, The Strangers, Anaconda, The Grudge, ghosts, zombies, vampire bats… The list goes on and on. One knock on the film is that the visual effects are not good. In fact they’re terrible, and can be a little off-putting for some. However, if you can get past this you’ll have one of the most enjoyable horror-comedy experiences since Drag Me To Hell.
Now go watch it!