I will attempt to keep this synopsis as spoiler free as possible. Here goes. A group of friends go to a ‘cabin in the woods’ for a weekend getaway. In true horror film fashion, the youngsters do some screwing, things go awry, evil rears its ugly head and people die.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is one of the best original horror flicks I’ve seen in years. I didn’t arrive at that assessment until a while after I’d left the theatre and processed the individual components that make CABIN great. After some retrospection, I’ve identified a great deal of things I really enjoyed about the film and nearly nothing that I take any issue with.
I appreciate that THE CABIN IN THE WOODS pays respect to its predecessors. There were numerous EVIL DEAD and FRIDAY THE 13th homages that any studious horror film fan is sure to pick up on. There was also a nod to HELLRAISER and several other classic horror flicks. What I appreciated, even more so, is that once CABIN pays its respects, it moves on. CABIN IN THE WOODS brought so much fresh material to the table that it will most certainly inspire a new generation of filmmakers. It goes without saying that it will be borrowed from, for years to come. It’s the most original, most introspective, and self-aware horror film I’ve seen since SCREAM. I believe it’s what the kids these days are calling ‘meta’.
The previews led me to believe that I was about to see a well made slasher or supernatural horror flick. I also inferred from the previews, that THE CABIN IN THE WOODS was going to be the kind of film we’ve seen before. CABIN is completely different from anything we have seen before. It’s the most original plotline I’ve seen in a horror film in longer than I can remember. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS will undoubtedly revolutionize the horror genre. My hope is that it will reignite interest in R-rated horror for a new generation.
The effects were great, for the most part. Everything that was done practically looked fantastic. The effects that were obviously digital looked really bad, however. This was not enough to derail my enjoyment of the film, though. There was a really great severed head scene and some exciting impalements. The body count was great. I was initially concerned at the prospect of no more than five death scenes. As it turned out, my concerns were foolhardy. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS boasts a very respectable death toll.
The pacing was good. Just when I started to think things were settling down, another curveball was on its way. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS kept me guessing until the end. There were so many twists and redirects that you will feel like you need a map to follow. For a split second, I almost thought the movie was over, forty-five minutes in. Immediately following the realization that the movie was, in deed, not over, the plot thickened even more and things got even stranger.
CABIN keeps its viewer on their toes. It melds so many different horror sub genres and even a little hint of sci-fi for good measure. The end result is fairly flawless execution.
The character development was great. I found myself cheering for the cast. Every one of the five college kids was highly likeable. The performances were well acted. However, everything wouldn’t have come together so perfectly if it weren’t for flawless direction and an airtight script from Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Congratulations are in order for all parties involved.
Despite some minor complaints with the effects, I wholeheartedly recommend checking THE CABIN IN THE WOODS out. I am certain you will be glad you did. Make sure you bring your thinking cap with you and don’t make up your mind until you’ve had some time to mull it over. There are still portions of the film that are rolling around in my head, now. If you’ve already seen it, be sure to leave your spoiler free thoughts in the comment box.