It was with great excitement that I pressed play on Drew Goddard’s 2011 horror flick THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. With rave reviews aplenty, I was sure to be in for a treat – wasn’t I? Well, actually, no. If you like your horror films not horrifying, your scary movies with no scares, and your thrillers with no tension, than I guess it’s worth a watch. Whilst not entirely bad, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS certainly isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
It all started so promisingly; 5 kids head out to a secluded cabin in the woods, they ignore the obligatory warning from the hillbilly, redneck at the gas station – this is your standard stalk and slash formula, now chuck in a little bit of originality and we’re going on the ride of our lives! Hang on, I said ‘a little bit’ - I’m not about to spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t yet seen it, but this film is drowned in originality. And as clever as it might be; this originality detracts entirely from the horror. This doesn’t even feel like a horror film. It seems like someone has over analysed the horror of the 80’s and pulled it to bits. Whilst I appreciate the departure from the torture porn of the last decade, I cannot help but be dismayed by the strange storyline. We see corporate bigwigs orchestrating the action, so nothing feels spontaneous; the very thing that sets this film apart from many others is also the thing that weakens the fear element - I don’t want to see behind the scenes, I want to watch the horror unfold spontaneously and go through each emotion with the characters.
The 5 characters in question are the usual mix; the athletic type, the comedy side-kick, the slut, the mature serious one, and the virgin. Sadly we hardly get the chance to care about them before they start to be bumped off. The Cabin in The Woods contains every scary thing ever – but it isn’t scary, how can that even happen!? I started hoping that maybe there would be an accidentally scary element, but alas it never came.
Apart from the CGI, which was laughable in places, the execution was spot on – the cinematography was fine and overall, no real gripes. Of course, this site reviews horror films, and as a horror film The Cabin in the Woods simply isn’t. However as an unusual movie, it’s not bad and is actually well, worth a watch – if only for the multi-purpose coffee cup!!
Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Wheldon, Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connelly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams.
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