The Cabin in the Woods Review
Posted by Mike Gorman on 04.14.2012
Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods is finally here but is it worth your precious time or is it just another weekend getaway you should getaway from? This reviewer believes you need to pack your bags immediately and invites you to join him for a spoiler-free look at this new take on a well known concept.
Donít worry, the following review of The Cabin in the Woods is completely spoiler free. Several prominent reviewers have put out very spoiler laden reviews that I truly feel take away from the impact of this film. So while it will pain me to not sing the specific praises of the filmís details, for your sake gentle readers I will take the high road. That said, letís get down to businessÖ The Cabin in the Woods is a fresh take on the horror genre that is fun from the moment it begins right up until the end credits.
The basic premise of the film is familiar. A group of college age friends head off to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun. This is where the road we recognize ends and Joss Whedon & Drew Goddardís adventure begins. The Cabin in the Woods is quite special in that it is consistent in its inconsistency, continually setting up the audience for an expected outcome and then delivering something else entirely. It is this well written story that really draws you into the experience of the movie and then it is the great contributions by the cast that drive it home. As with any horror film, there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief that one must possess in order to truly buy in to the happenings. This is certainly aided by the solid performances by the main actors of the piece. They bring a believability to their performances that allow you to easily strap in and join them on this roller coaster ride. It helps that they had such strong source material to work off of I am sure.
I refer of course to the script written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. They have worked together for years going back as far as Buffy and their creative synergy is clearly evident in this project. From the opening sequence you know that you are watching a Whedon film. It is the feel and language that are so true to him and his style. If you are a Whedon fan I think that you will find that it is his writing that takes the base premise of the film and elevates it to something on a different level. If you are not a fan of Whedonís style, well what are you doing watching this film in the first place? Ok, seriously, if you are not a Whedonite then I would say that it is the charactersí dialogue that you will find as one of the filmís weaker points. I felt that at times this could have been an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the pacing and pop-culture laden nature of writing. For me, that was not a bad thing at all but I can see how it may take some getting used to for the lay person.
I would like to say that there are specific elements of the film that I found I weak or dissatisfying but I can honestly tell you that there really are not any low points for me. I think this is mostly due to the fact that in those moments that the action starts to feel cliché or oft-putting you realize that you are being set up for yet another twist in the road. Like I said this film is something new in that is not strictly a horror film nor is it a straight comedic parody. It incorporates elements of both allowing you to take in the movie on several levels at once. I feel like I will really need to see it again to be able to fully catch everything that was coming off the screen.
There are many fantastic moments of cinematic greatness in The Cabin in the Woods but to touch on them would mean pulling back the spoiler curtain and I donít want to do that to you. Instead I will just say that if you are looking for a movie this week that is entertaining in terms of scares and laughs, you need look no further. This is truly a movie that would be great to be seen with a large group of friends in a crowded theater but would also shine if you were hiding from the world and catching a movie on your own. By the time the end credits start you will see that you have been brought on a journey through the world of a horror film that only begins in a cabin. Where does it end? Well that would be telling now, wouldnít it?
The 411: The Cabin in the Woods is a unique take on a well worn concept. Go into it expecting a great film about friends traveling to a remote cabin with thrills to follow, and leave certain that your expectations were met and you also were given an entirely new experience you did not see coming. This movie is Whedon at his best. Run, donít walk, to your local multiplex to catch it now!