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The Cabin In The Woods - A Scream in a new decade

In One Word




Released By / Year

Lion's Gate / 2012

Movie Review

First impression:

Title: The Cabin in the Woods
Genre: Horror

Can this be any more cliché?

Not really, but take a look at this:

Written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon!

If you know who these two guys are then you know that not all is what it seems.

The Cabin in the Woods turns out to be a unique mixture of horror and satire. It embraces all the clichés, revels in them, and then turns them on their head, resulting in a movie that is both surprising and clever. Best of all, the movie is immense fun.

TCITW opens in a surprising way and throws the viewer directly into an already moving plot, just in time for the main event. I was instantly intrigued, because I expected something else, but sure enough, soon five friends are off on their way to a remote cabin in the woods for a weekend vacation. Here they become entangled in a grand scheme of nightmarish proportions as they unwittingly choose their own monstrous nemesis. Telling any more would be giving away too much, but you can be sure that the surprises will keep on coming, right down till the very end.

The movie is self-aware and not afraid to poke fun at the genre or itself, but no more than necessary and fortunately it doesn't descend into self-parody. It keeps its tongue tightly in cheek, walks a fine line and and manages to marry over the top violence and comedy in a bizarre and brilliant way. This is Scream for a new decade.

It all is a bit silly and so far out, that I love the fact that someone took a chance a realized this insane idea in such a grand and I must say, rather intelligent way. If you wish to move beyond the curtain of fun that drapes over the movie, it can also be seen as a commentary on human nature and the state of society and several punches hit deep. By the third act, where the movie goes really ballistic, I felt sort of liberated and very satisfied watching a movie, which did not take everything so seriously and had the guts to go all the way.

Excitement is in the air during the movie, the lead characters have great chemistry and it feels like those involved had fun creating this. There is great timing to certain scenes and one favorite moment in particular has a perfect pay-off. I cannot go into details other than mention it involves a Merman...

There are plenty of special effects, realized in a convincing and frightful way. Fortunately CGI is used sparingly and this makes the monsters much more lifelike and scary. That's not to say the movie is perfect, but it is seriously entertaining and a great ride. I had a blast.

The Cabin in the woods takes its premise to the next level and is ripe with imagination all the way through. I can't wait to watch it again. This is one of those movies that needs to be watched more than once.

My final advice: Know as little as possible about this movie before you see it. Don't watch the trailer. You know nothing.

Update: Two years later...

I've watched this a few more times now and my first impression persists and has bloomed. The movie holds up and is really terrific in every way.

Written By Steen
Online: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2015 - Two years later…