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Cabin In The Woods-Movie Review

Updated on March 17, 2015
Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Dana (Kristen Connolly) in 'The  Cabin in the Woods.'
Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Dana (Kristen Connolly) in 'The Cabin in the Woods.'

The Crew

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes, Rated R

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker

Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Directed by Drew Goddard (feature movie debut, writer of Cloverfield, writer/producer on Alias, Lost)

The movie was actually made in 2009 and fell into purgatory when MGM went through Bankruptcy.


"Stop reading this review right now. Go see 'The Cabin in the Woods,' then come back and we can have a conversation about it. Just trust me on this. The less you know going into it, the better."

The Cabin In The Woods
The Cabin In The Woods

A group of teens go for a weekend in the woods to stay at a cabin, which is an age old tired plot.. And then there is the virgin heroine played by Kristen Connolly, the handsome jock played by Chris Hemsworth, the intelligent nice guy (Jesse Williams), the slutty sexy cheerleader played by Anna Hutchison, and the pot-headed slacker played by Fran Kranz. The set-up is as old and predictable as one could imagine. And that is partially the point.

As this cliched premise develops, our interest is stirred when we also get flashes of two quick-talking scientist-types, played with gusto by Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. They have a very unique job that adds an entire sci-fi spin to the tale of our cabin-dwellers.

From a giant control room, we can see that the cabin, the woods, and the entire surrounding area is being taped and monitored continuously. It also appears to be protected by an invisible force-field wall. Why? I couldn't possibly give that away. Let's just say that they are responsible for making sure that the group of teens are killed off properly, using any means necessary, and from their control room they can directly influence the results.

People in the lab place bets on who will die first, and which monster will do the killing. For most part of the movie, we don't understand what is going on, but we see that this televised ritual is happening in different parts of the world .

The movie has some seat jumping shots but nearly every cliché in the horror-movie book appears in the movie at some point. But The Cabin in the Woods comes across less as a thriller and more of a giant "F you" to the horror genre. Like many other horror movies for example, the party splits up. Why would they possibly do that in every movie? Surely, the two scientists might probably be seen as Goddard and Whedon themselves, the two just having fun with things, peppering in as much ridiculousness as they can muster.

It never appears to be a smart film, but instead goes the opposite way...embracing the idiotic nature of the horror genre and squeezing until its head pops off.

Two persons in the movie deserve special mention.Making his directing debut with "Cabin," Goddard, cinematographer Peter Deming and production designer Martin Whist have packed the dark shadows and tight spaces of the cabin world with countless nostalgic touches.

The Cabin in the Woods is a very funny film, and one of the most original films in recent memory. It zig zags like a roller coaster in the dark, and each sudden dip makes it worth the price of admission. So you'll just have to trust me on this: It is a ride well worth taking.

"With compulsive effort that is meant to feel like giddy abandon, they have tried to make a horror movie that is frightening,original and knowing, all at the same time. Two out of three is not bad, given the difficulty of the task. A wink can sometimes undermine a scare. Novelty and genre traditionalism often fight to a draw. Too much overt cleverness has a way of spoiling dumb,reliable thrills."

— A.O. Scott, New York Times

The Movie Trailer


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    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

      Thank you for this enthusiastic review! I'm going to see the film tonight and am pretty confident I'll enjoy it, too. A rarity with films these days *sigh*.