The Cabin in the Woods is probably the most recent to come out that will be on this list of reviews. I just watched it and was very surprised.
I knew nothing about the movie before seeing it, other than the fact that it was written by Joss Whedon and that it had gotten pretty good reviews. I’m really glad that I knew nothing about the movie before seeing it, so I’ll afford you that luxury. Not only is this *SPOILER FREE* but I also won’t tell much about the plot in general.
The movie doesn’t take too long to get going. A lot of horror movies often spend a good chunk of time with exposition, leaving you with little pay off. This movie gives you plenty of what you want.
That being said, there is exposition, but it is necessary exposition, and the movie keeps you entertained during this time, with light comedy, interesting characters, and good acting. Horror movies are often plagued with bad acting. Not always the entire cast, but there is usually at least one horrible actor or actress. All of the acting is ‘Cabin in the Woods’ is solid. The characters are stereotypes, but they are stereotypes for a reason, and they are not carbon copies of the usual horror characters, they are just the same basic group. Whore, Jock, Virgin, Odd Man out, you get the idea, and the fact that these are cliched character types actually play a key role in the plot of the movie.
I really like the stoner character. He makes me think of what it would be like to have Spicoli from ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High‘ in a horror movie.
You can tell that this movie was made by horror fans. That’s what makes it so great. You can’t expect someone who hates horror movies to make a good horror movie. Writers and directors who love movies, make better movies. That is why Tarantino is king. He’s quite possibly the biggest film fan alive.
‘Cabin in the Woods‘ makes fun of and explains some of the oldest horror cliches. It’s great to see a movie acknowledge cliches and use them effectively. You don’t have to be a film buff to enjoy the movie, but it is certainly much more enjoyable if you are.
The movie is full of references to other horror movies. The movie is almost entirely an ‘Evil Dead‘ homage. The location is a cabin just like in ‘Evil Dead’ They went out of their way to make this cabin look just like the one from the other film. They even have the trap door to the cellar with the same staircase. The entire movie has so many references to ‘Evil Dead’ that at times I almost felt that it went past homage, and went into rip-off territory. There are many little references including a hidden reference where you can see the title “Dedites” (The name for the monsters from ‘Evil Dead’) and “Angry Molesting Tree” (From the famous scene from ‘Evil dead’).
This movie references so many classic horror movies, and ties it all together in a very interesting way. The references all make perfect sense and never feel forced. They have cameos from some classic horror icons. A killer clown, a werewolf, a vampire bat, the grudge, King Kong, KING-F*CKING-KONG, there is even a Clive Barker Cenobite type character. The Cenobite is a type of character created by Clive Barker. The most famous being Pin Head. He even has the trademark twisty box thingy except in this movie it looks more like a fabrige egg.
‘The Cabin in the Woods’ is great refreshing look at the horror genre, which celebrates it, as well as looks at it in a new way.
- Cabin in the Woods SXSW 2012 Q&A (dpgpictures.wordpress.com)
- Bruce Campbell tells us why The Evil Dead remake won’t make you want to saw off your hand [Evil Dead] (io9.com)
- The Cabin in The Woods: A new spin on the splatter genre (dailynewsegypt.com)
- DVD Of The Week: The Cabin In The Woods (2011) (heropress.net)
- Why We Need Stories Like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ (Review) (popmatters.com)
- The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion (chadwickhsaxelid.typepad.com)