Cabin in the Woods (2011) – Movie Review

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So you’re sitting there in the movie theater and you’ve seen enough trailers that you’ve forgotten what you sat down to watch with all these strangers.  And then it begins, two scientist-looking fellas walking around what looks like a drab yet important government lab, talking the same mess you would on a Monday morning in the office.  Three minutes into the on-screen conversation and you ask yourself once more, “What did I come here to see?”  It’s a curveball beginning that ushers in a very campy, gory and current horror film.

Cabin in the Woods, directed by Drew Goddard, seems at first like a straightforward satire of the neoclassic horror flick, but it’s more than that.  The comedy is fresh and the sci-fi slant makes this movie wholly entertaining.  The opening scene is great, but I’ll admit that later, during the introductions to the lead characters, I got worried.  In retrospect, I suppose this was all part of the greater Joss Wheadon (Co-Writer) plan.

In Cabin in the Woods, five friends head off to a cousin’s vacation cabin determined to have a good time and blow off some steam.  Curt (Chris Hemsworth) is the hansom, athletic brain and he’s rolling with his girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchison).  Dana (Kristen Connelly) is Jules’ bestie and she’s along for the ride. Dana has just been dumped and Jules, being the best bud that she is, has brought along Holden (Jesse Williams) the good-looking, well-read gentleman, to cheer Dana up.   Marty, the token stoner friend, tags along bringing perspective and a collapsible bong made out of a travel mug.

The Five Best Friends That Ever Could Be head off to that secluded cabin and one game of Truth or Dare in and there are nips, death and zombies everywhere.   I would tell you more, but then you’d just resent me for it.

In conclusion, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with this film.  It’s fast-paced and excessively gory, both important traits of good horror movies.  And, the story is…GASP, original.  While Cabin in the Woods may be a satire, it isn’t a regurgitation of a classic.  Goddard and Wheadon’s originality scores big here by way of vicious unicorns and mermen.

Don’t get me wrong; there were pitfalls and even one hyper cornball “I learned it by watching you” joke thrown in for good measure.  (For the record, if I never hear that joke again, it’ll be too soon.)  Additionally, the acting was lacking more often than not. Kristen Connelly started out pretty bad, but improved as the story progressed.  The veteran actors from the opening scene, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are great and distract from the mostly mediocre performances throughout.

If you’re into horror with a sense of humor this one will keep you interested through to the very end.  It’s a good time with bite and personality so you should definitely stop and smell the blood loss.

 

Cabin in the Woods (2011)- B

B = Watch it in a theater, stream it on T.V. or add it to your Netflix queue; chances are, you won’t curse me when the credits roll, for recommending.

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