23 October 2012

Cabin in the woods review

Finally got around to see this movie, which I suppose everyone loved since it got pretty good reviews and reception. I went into this one with zero knowledge about the plot and had not really seen any trailers for it while it was shown in cinemas..

I won't spoil any of the twists and turns of the plot, suffice to say it is the definition of "mindfuck". It starts out as a run of the mill "teen idiots go into the woods to party" horror movie. Every character is written as a horror movie archetype, you notice it fairly soon - though it turns out it has a purpose.

The first half of the movie was really nothing special, but somewhere halfway into it some really weird stuff starts to happen, and it kind of escalates into a crazy mess of a movie that while constantly surprising is very torn and screwed up by its own concept. What I liked about it as it got stranger, was that it wasn't really explained why things happened until the very end so at least they managed to continuously surprise and weird me out..

For a horror movie, the characters turn out to be more likeable than you expect. They did a good job on at least not making you hate the characters and wanting them to die which is standard these days with obnoxious horror movie characters. Even the potheaded "redshirt" character turned out to be quite good, which was a great surprise. The horror factor though, is very low. It has more scenes that initially confuse you and later make you scratch your head than anything that could be classified as genuinely scary (it comes perhaps the closest to creating an unnerving atmosphere during a scene towards the end. Not to say that it isn't interesting to watch the weirdness, but it’s a strange sitting. And while I generally like innovative twists the way this movie plays out towards the very end is just plain ridiculous and too silly to be taken seriously (probably the point, but what a waste of the concept). It's at the same time being too interesting to be completely bad, and too bad too be good, if that makes any sense.

Would I recommend it? Well, not if you are looking for a scary/atmospheric movie. If you like to see something strange and completely different with an arguably good/bad twist ending then I guess I have to say yes. I was left empty when the credits rolled, as it felt like a movie with good ideas but where the screenwriter just kept stacking crazy/silly things towards the end because it became impossible to give it a plausible ending.



  1. I felt like Cabin in the Woods was a great idea for a movie, that when it came time to actually get 90 minutes out of it, it fell a little flat.
    It sort of felt like an internet fan fiction story. I did enjoy the twists and turns and the different path they took, but it still felt a little lacking in the end.

    1. My thoughts exactly. It would probably be better off in a 30 minute short film format or something like the horror show "Masters of Horror" which had 50 minute episodes with self contained stories from different directors.

    2. What I saw of Masters of Horror was pretty decent... I can only remember their take on Lovecraft's "Witch House", and the one with zombie soldiers coming home.

      And Joss Whedon wrote Cabin in the Woods, didn't he? I like his work but he's not for all tastes, that's for sure.

  2. I though it was great! It was nice to see something new, different and poking fun at one of my favorite genera.


  3. Being a fan of Joss Whedon and Buffy, this was great movie for me. Made me rethink every horror film I watch now.


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