MOVIE REVIEW: The Cabin In The Woods

When I write a movie review I do not follow the same format everytime. Sometimes I will lay things out in a more traditional way with categories and scoring them individually but then do an average score at the end. Other times I will just list pros and cons, as I do not feel micro-analysing the movie would be effective. I am going to use the pros and cons format as this is not a movie I can really go into too much detail with due to potential spoilers.

I went to see the movie at the Empire Theatre in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia at the late show with my sister Tasha, her boyfriend Paul and my brother Josh. I was a little disappointed that there was no “coming soon” poster or other promotional display for “The Avengers” but I did get to see a huge promo standee of Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart for “Snow White And The Huntsman” which was awesome.  However, there was a kick ass Avengers trailer before the movie that made me very happy!!

Those Kooky Kids

PROS:

– The cast of the movie was actually really good considering it was a horror movie and the characters are usually “disposable”. The characters were not really the traditional horror movie stereotypes but did somehow throughout the course of the movie still morph into them briefly. To me the stand out performances were Chris Hemsworth as Curt, Kristen Connolly as Dana, Fran Kranz as Marty and of course the pair of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as Sitterson and Hadley respectively.

– Joss Whedon is a genuis and it is on full display here. He is a master at creating a story with an ensemble cast, taking great care to make sure that each character has their “moment” but he also develops a strong female character that really drives the story forward.

– The nods to all the various horror movies that came before this movie was fantastic and a lot of fun to try to catch. Some were very blatant, while others were only caught with a very quick glimpse. This alone guarantees multiple viewings for me once it is available on Blu Ray.

– The story is very unique in how it presents the plot and I again have to hand it to Joss Whedon for thinking outside the box. Presenting the twist at the start of the film and explaining it to the audience, so that they can witness it evolve throughout the film worked. I feel if he would have waited until the end to try to reveal the big twist of the story, than it would have felt cheapened.

– The horror moments did take a little while to make an appearance but when they finally did, they were there in spades. Just when you got used to seeing knives, bear traps and saws used as utensils the movie goes in a completely over the top and fun way in the third act of the film that features many other ways that harm was inflicted.

– Did I mention how great this story was?

– The humor in the film was fantastic. Even though it was a horror movie, the jokes were really well placed and well written. If anything, it almost felt that it was an extension of Whedon’s own sense of humor. Watching the movie made much more sense after hearing his interviews for The Avengers, as his sense of humor is exactly the same in both instances.

– How hot was Kristen Connolly anyway??? Wow!! Her character was one of two that really developed throughout the movie. She started off as more of a background character that then became a character that drove the story by the end. Did I say she was hot???

This can’t be good…………

CONS:

– This is only a minor gripe and maybe they can explore it if they decide to do another movie, but I want to know more about why things had to be done the way they did. They touched on it during the climax of the third act but I am very intrigued by what is going on globally during this movie. They tease it but never really explain it.

– This is one of the few times that I enjoyed the core group of disposable teens in the horror movie genre and wish they would have stuck around. I guess you could see this as a pro as well due to the great acting and great writing.

– Is it a CON if you do not have many CONs???

This was one of my favorite scenes of the film!

THE VERDICT:

The Cabin In The Woods was a fantastic ride and one that I honestly became totally invested in as the story unfolded. Joss Whedon presents a very unique story that flips the traditional rules of horror movies on it’s head but also touches on those rules before doing so.

The key to enjoying this movie is to go into it with an open mind and instead of trying to figure out what is going on…..just let it happen on the screen for you. The twist of the story is given to you on purpose by Whedon at the start of the movie, so there is no need to try to figure the movie out. He makes sure that all you have to do is just enjoy the ride.

I really think the unique perspective that is presented is something that is a breath of fresh air in the horror movie genre. The movie dared to be different and still had enough of the traditional horror movie feel and marks to get the job done.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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About Jason Huskins

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