Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods banner

You Think You Know The Story.

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Sigourney Weaver

Director: Drew Goddard

2012  |  95 Minutes  |  Rated R

“These fucking zombies. Remember when you could just throw a girl in a volcano?” – Hadley
“How old do you think I am?” – Sitterson

The Cabin in the Woods had a TON of hype coming into my viewing of it.  Not only is the great Joss Whedon a co-writer on the project but it was also the internet movie darling of 2012.  Maybe all the hype had my expectations too high or maybe I just didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I definitely found myself a little disappointed at the when the credits rolled at the end.

Five friends head to a cabin in the woods for a little vacation.  The teens get a little more than they bargained for and together must discover the truth behind what is really going on with the cabin in the woods.

I’m going to be a bit spoilery in my review.  I don’t feel like I am ruining too much, especially since this movie has been out for almost two years and the big secret is given away very early on in the film.  So, here it is.  Fair warning.  SPOILERS AHEAD!

There are some crazy scientists running the cabin in the woods trying to kill the kids.  They have all sorts of creatures at their disposal to try and off these kids.  So what do the writers do after whetting the audience’s appetite with crazy descriptions of mer-men and the such?  He gives us zombies.  Redneck zombies but still zombies.

Now, to understand The Cabin in the Woods one has to understand that it is meant to be a bit of a satire of the horror genre.  So, by giving us zombies AGAIN are the writers simply satirizing about how horror movies could be giving us all kinds of different crazy monsters and yet we keep choosing zombies?  Probably.  But it still feels like a bit of a letdown.

Speaking of satire, the characters are pretty much your standard horror movie protagonists, meaning they are paper thin and represent very specific but shallow representations of teenagers.  We have the stoner, the jock, a couple attractive young ladies… You know the drill.  I’m 100% sure the characters were intended to be this way but I still felt like I should care a little bit about the characters and there is absolutely zero reason to, other than to not see other human beings mutilated which is a pretty darn good reason in the real world but doesn’t work so much in the movies.  I did find myself hoping that somehow Chris Hemsworth would save the day by turning into Thor or that kid from Red Dawn but alas, he’s just a dumb teenager.

The violence is all pretty extreme, and I’m sure that this was done AGAIN in satire of all of the violence that is thrown around in many of these torture porn type of horror movies.

I will say that The Cabin in the Woods kept me guessing as to what would happen next.  It’s just that when crazy stuff happened it felt more like they were throwing more and more craziness at the camera without necessarily needing it.  You just get to the point where you expect something super crazy at every turn instead of getting lulled into a sense of safety before being attacked again.

So, it sounds like I am probably in the minority but I didn’t really care for The Cabin in the Woods.  I can appreciate what they are doing and I “get it” but I just didn’t find the movie very fulfilling.

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