The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
It’s amazing how a film like Cabin in the Woods just sat around collecting dust for a couple years before getting released. Completed in 2009, it was originally slated for a release in 2010, but was delayed a year so MGM could convert it to 3D. Plans fell through and MGM eventually filed for bankruptcy, where Lionsgate scooped up the pic and set a 2012 release.
The flick garnered a lot of positive buzz after its premiere at 2012’s SXSW (South by Southwest) and word quickly spread that us horror fans were in for quite a treat. It’s rare for a film to live up to its hype and I’m happy to say that Cabin in the Woods did not disappoint.
The flick is actually hard to review, as it’s a multi-layered film that’s best to go in knowing very little of. Aside from the theatrical trailer, I personally tried to steer clear of any other reviews or videos that came my way. Going in fresh or knowing little is the best way to approach this, so I’m going to try and keep things short and leave much of the potentially spoilerish details out of this review. Though, if you haven’t seen this movie yet I’d advise just skipping straight to my Overall Thoughts at the bottom of the page to get an idea on what you’re in for.
At first glance Cabin in the Woods is like any other horror film to come out of the past few decades — we follow a group of adventurous 20-somethings looking to have a little fun at a secluded Evil Dead-like cabin. What could go wrong, right?? Well, if horror films have taught us anything by now, it’s that going anywhere secluded will only lead to death, either by the hands of demons, inbred cannibals, or pesky zombies. In this case, it’s sadistic redneck zombies that have risen from their graves after one of the group recites some Latin text from an old diary found in the basement. Sound kinda familiar? Well it should, because that’s the whole point!!
What Cabin in the Woods does different is give us another perspective of the whole situation. An interesting ‘what-if’ scenario where the leads in the movie are pawns in a much bigger game. Where each member of the group play their stereotypical roles, as they’re meant to, as if preordained by a mysterious organization with the power to do so… and that’s about all I’m going to say about it, but believe me, there’s MUCH more to it than just that.
Thanks to the talented minds of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Drew Goddard (Lost, Cloverfield) we’re given a fun and creative multi-layered take on things within the genre and enough eye candy in the end to please any horror fan. The movie pokes fun at itself and all those films before it, while at the same time pays homage to the greats. It’s a flick that pretty much has it all in many different aspects. My only gripe would be the slow start and lack of gore in the early-to-mid parts of the film, but that’s jusy me being picky towards an otherwise great flick.
Cabin in the Woods is pretty much every horror fan’s wet dream, as it gives us a little bit of everything and manages to deliver something fun and creative in the process. It’s a multi-layered pic that also pays homage to the greats and has a blast poking fun of itself along the way. This is a MUST SEE for any fan of the genre or anyone that’s tired of the same old tripe that comes out now-a-days. Highly recommended!!