Entertainment Magazine

In Cinemas: The Cabin in the Woods

Posted on the 10 April 2012 by Desertofreel @Kob_Monney

Kristen Connolly in The Cabin in the Woods

The lambs have passed through the gate…they have come to the killing floor

I’ll start off with a disclaimer: I’m not a fan of horror. It’s a genre that’s mired in a bloody sludge of body parts, dim characters and few actual scares. If horror is a genre that terrifies and excites viewers simultaneously, then it’s a feeling I’ve rarely felt when watching it. With The Cabin in the Woods I rarely felt the former but I definitely experienced the latter.

Delayed after studio MGM encountered financial difficulties, The Cabin in the Woods is a wildly entertaining film that playfully makes a case for why the horror genre is an absolute necessity. Hollywood has recycled torture porn and nondescript ghost/exorcism stories so many times to spin its money making machine, that they’ve forgotten that the genre can be fun and strange; disorientating and hilarious.

But it will feel similar to most horror retreads, it’s part of its charm and why it works so well. Five friends go to a remote cabin for a weekend getaway and end up getting far more than they expected. That’s it. The rules of the game are simple: make it out alive. The Cabin in the Woods works better if you go in knowing relatively little about it other than there’s a cabin and it’s in the woods. Anything more and the surprises are spoiled.

The script by Drew Goddard and Josh Whedon is a slow drip of information, spooling the plot and dishing out information in token amounts leaving the viewer relatively confused as to how everything comes together. What ‘everything’ is, is again, better left to the experience of watching the film. Safe to say there are surprises; there are moments that are scarcely believable and they’re all sprinkled with moments of knowing comedy that takes the accumulated knowledge of horror films and spins it in a way that’s not entirely fresh, but something that’s consistently funny. Ever wanted to know why smoke appears from the ground? Or have you ever wanted to know why there’s always nudity in these films? The concept behind The Cabin in the Woods makes those answers all part of the fun.

Does the story make much sense when you start to untangle it? No. Scratch at the surface of it and there’s not much depth to it. The characters are shallow and the logic can be fuzzy but the inventiveness of the execution makes up for it. From scene to scene, moment to moment, you’re absolutely invested in seeing what happens next, if only to see what kind of tricks Goddard and Whedon have up their sleeves. The last half hour or so features some of the most inventive filmmaking I’ve seen this year.

A film that’s as bloody as it is funny, The Cabin in the Woods is a crowd pleaser. I’ve never been a huge fan of Whedon but this film puts me on the road of being a convert. The real star here is Goddard and how he assembles everything he has at his disposal, from the effective cinematography to David Julyan’s perfectly modulated score, The Cabin in the Woods is a lot like Sam Raimi’s horror films The Evil Dead and Drag Me To Hell: fun, gory and absolutely worth your time.


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