Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - ★½

Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kanz, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins

I absolutely hated this movie for the most part. For the first three quarters, it grained on me and gave me a headache. As a horror movie, it fails miserably at scaring the audience. As a comedy, it just fails at being funny enough to maintain interest. In terms of originality, most of it are hand-me-down stories from previous horror movies... that is until the end. The last quarter of the film was pretty cool, which brought entertainment and a little bit of originality. Overall, practically everything about this movie was awful. Unless you like mindless films where drab characters get killed off one by one,  I'd give this one a miss.

Five teenagers head off for a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. They arrive to find they are quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world. When the cellar door flings itself open, they of course go down to investigate. They find an odd assortment of relics and curios but when one of the women, Dana (Kristen Connolly), reads from a book she awakens a family of deadly zombie killers. There's far more going on however than meets the eye as the five campers are all under observation.

Chris Hemsworth in his worst movie role.
I think we all know that the whole 'secluded cabin' bit has been done to death over the last 30 years in horror films. However, there's a cool twist to this one that I liked a lot. This twist is supposed to forgive the cliche's that are brought forth in this film, but that doesn't make it a good movie. By cliche, I mean the fact that the characters are: The token virgin (Connolly), The token jock (Hemsworth), the token nerd (Williams), the token stoner (Kanz), and the annoying token slut (Anna Hutchison). None of these characters have a personality, they're just defined by the category they've been put in (which is what happens in every modern horror movie). There's nothing new here, just a bunch of people we won't care about if or when they die.

I'm not going to lie, I kind of liked the story though. I won't spoil it for you, but there's a team of scientists watching what is happening to these stupid teenagers. They control the things that come after them, all for a purpose that you don't find out until the end. Unfortunately, the scientists don't seem like scientists, and the whole thing was executed poorly. I was sitting there wondering "Who hired these idiots?" 

The acting is absolutely atrocious by everyone. There is not one single performance that would classify as 'average' in my opinion. Is it really that hard to evoke a realistic performance out of actors in a horror movie? Over the years I've come to realize that the worst performances out of any genre of cinema is that of horror flicks. In films like Alien (1979), The Thing (1982), and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), their fear seemed real and the characters were at least likable. In The Cabin in the Woods, I couldn't care less about these people. I was just watching one bad performance after another getting slashed off the screen.

Kristen Connolly playing the virgin.
I know this film is not supposed to be taken seriously. That's because it is so ridiculous, you'd have to be a complete idiot to take it as more than a silly slasher movie. By the time I reached the last quarter of the film, I was so miserable that I thought nothing could redeem the film. While nothing could redeem the dismal first 70 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised at the ending sequences. It would have made people go "WOW, now this movie is different!" When in all reality, it's hardly anything new at all. They just added some pretty cool original stuff at the end, while the rest of the film was your standard bad horror material.

Oh yeah, and even after the characters have been stabbed and tortured over and over, they can manage to run, drive and live for a huge amount of time. So f*cking stupid. 

You know what, even after all the utter crap, my sister really enjoyed this film. I on the other hand, hated almost everything about it. So I can see how this movie can entertain the lovers of all things horror. I am a lover of horror movies, but only the good ones. In my opinion, The Cabin in the Woods is nothing more than a mindless slasher flick with a decent ending.


  1. I completely disagree with this review, can you not see that it's a twisted, and is a cleverly written slasher that completely turned the genre inside out? I LOVED it but at the end of the day, its not to everyone's taste

    1. Cleverly written? So by adding a decent twist at the end, we're supposed to enjoy the run-of-the-mill crap that takes up most of the movie? We're supposed to enjoy terrible acting and cheesy dialogue?

      Sure, I enjoyed the end of the film. I've seen movies follow the same 'Friends in a creepy cabin' formula countless times. Except I've seen it done better than this. Just because Cabin in the Woods did something pretty crazy at the end doesn't forgive that it was thoroughly ordinary for the most part.