Cabin in the Woods Film Review (2011)

Today, I decided to rewatch The Cabin in the Woods…

Cabin in the Woods tells the story of five college kids going off to one of their cousin’s cabin in a secluded part of…well, the woods. However, little do they know that their every move is being influenced by a secret organization that orchestrates horror movie like scenarios in order to sacrifice people to ancient gods. When one of these five kids, a stoner named Marty, starts to piece together what is going on, he tries to save what’s left of his friends and escape as they’re picked off one by one by the monsters that are unleashed by the organization.

Hell of a horror-comedy and subversion of the slasher genre. Incredibly creative debut by Goddard.

Tight script, great characters and performances (Fran Kranz was excellent as the pothead turned hero Marty), decent cinematography, great set design, interesting discussion of themes, great balance of tone, etc.

Unlike Scream, which was a direct pisstake on the genre, this comes off as a more genuine dissection and discussion of the tropes, our perception of the genre, and how these tropes emotionally affect us, with sprinkles of comedy mixed in when necessary. The part where one of the guys in charge of the op starts to display an emotional connection to the surviving girl, and the constant questioning by the head of security about why we enjoy this, were incredibly interesting.

If I had to knock it, I think the redneck zombie torture family were weak monsters and villains. All the best slasher movies, even the killers have great backstories, and they didn’t make a big enough effort to flesh out these characters.

Overall though, this was a hell of a fun time. Goddard and Whedon made a really good horror movie and a really good meta analysis of the genre. If you haven’t seen it, give it a watch.

8.5 out of 10 (MAYBE a 9, but that’s pushing it)

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