Movie Review – The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Director: Drew Goddard

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker

Five teenagers go off for a weekend in a mysterious cabin where the discover some eerie secrets from the past. Meanwhile, deep below, scientists are observing them.

I was really looking forward to The Cabin in the Woods because I’d heard great things and that it had a really cool twist. Therefore, I was surprised when the film opened up on the scientists because it’s not really a twist if it happens at the beginning. I did like the parallels drawn between the teenagers in the cabin and the scientists in the laboratory. I also like the way it played with some of the tropes and also referenced horror movies. But I was left a bit disappointed. I think this is a film that’s going to suffer from its reputation and it’s better to go in with expectations lowered.

The main problem I had is that due to the short runtime and the fact that it has to cover a lot of ground and include a lot of characters, it’s difficult to become invested in them and I don’t feel any of them were developed that well. I mean, when I think of them i can only describe them in the broadest of characteristics, and the fact that I liked them at all is due to the charisma and familiarity of the actors from other shows and movies. Perhaps the shallowness of the characters is done purposefully because it’s playing up to the tropes in other horror films, but I still don’t think it does the film any favours.

I also liked the idea that all the other slasher and cult horror films were a part of this experiment, which is why they’re all so similar, although I do think it would have been better had they been able to license recognisable villains like Jason or Michael Myers. That said, I did enjoy the part where we got to see all the monsters and all hell broke loose.

The Cabin in the Woods definitely falls more towards comedy than it does horror, and it’s certainly different and unique. That said, I think its appeal is based on the concept rather than the characters. I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting to, but it is a fun film to watch.

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