Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison
Director: Drew Goddard
Running Time: 95 mins
The Cabin In The Woods is an American film about five college friends who decide to spend a weekend in an isolated country shack, however higher forces turn their fun and games into a nightmare.
There are few genres in film as tired and predictable as the haunted house/slasher thriller, but The Cabin In The Woods does a great job to change that up as much as possible. With an original and enjoyably playful take on the genre, the film proves a lot of fun throughout, and while some of its most outlandish ideas don’t always hit the mark perfectly, they help to make a typically tedious horror premise thoroughly entertaining.
Let’s start off with the film’s original take on the genre, because without that, this film would have been a truly dull watch. Part horror-parody and part full horror in its own right, The Cabin In The Woods cleverly takes a tired premise and pokes fun at all its tropes and clichés, all the while crafting its own genuinely entertaining horror story in the background.
In that, while the deliberately more generic action and kills are going down in the country shack, we get an interesting and often hilarious outside perspective into that age-old story, with a seemingly secret organisation appearing to be pulling all the strings of the students’ night of terror.
As well as being a really clever way of breaking the fourth wall and parodying the horror genre, the mystery and ambiguity as to just why this organisation is directing the rather excessive murder of a group of college students is what really feeds your interest throughout.
So, along with being able to enjoy the brain-dead thrills and spills of the horror, The Cabin In The Woods offers up genuinely unpredictable and interesting mystery to follow throughout, meaning that the film is enormously more layered than typical horror fare.
Having said all that, and while the film’s original take does make for an entertaining watch, its ambition sometimes goes beyond its actual abilities, with the reveals and explanations for the film’s key mysteries coming up a little short in the end, and failing to really impress in the way that the sense of ambiguity grabbed me so much.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with The Cabin In The Woods, principally because of its welcome original take on the horror genre that makes for both hilarious parody and genuine intrigue and excitement at the same time. It’s not always perfectly executed, and often misses the mark with some of its most outlandish ideas, but it proves a thoroughly enjoyable watch throughout regardless, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.
The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com