Home > Movie Review > THE CABIN IN THE WOODS – Movie Review


The buzz surrounding The Cabin in the Woods has been unlike anything I’ve seen for a film in years.  It opened the South by Southwest 2012 film festival, where it received ecstatic buzz.  There have been several other early screenings across the United States with the same reaction.  And while I may have built myself up for a level of hype that was unreachably high, The Cabin in the Woods is innovative, hilarious, and one of the most thought-provoking horror films I’ve ever seen.

The film starts off like a typical horror film, where five college students go on a road trip to a remote cabin in the woods.  While there, some strange, mysterious things start happening to them, as the audience gets to learn a little more than the characters as to why these things are happening.

While my plot description might have been vague, it was deliberately so.  This is a film that works especially well if you know as little as possible going in.  I also recommend avoiding all trailers, as they give a bit too much away for my taste.

That being said, The Cabin in the Woods has a terrific, clever script.  What makes this movie so unique is that there’s another level of story beyond the five kids in the cabin.  This level ultimately serves as a satire for the process of modern horror films, including how they’re made, their purpose, and how audiences receive them.  This opens up a new demographic for the film, because for someone who isn’t a horror fan, this level of satire eliminates the mechanics of typical horror films, which is most likely the reason they don’t like the genre.  As for fans of horror, myself included, they’ll fully appreciate the self-referential humor that pokes fun at modern horror movie clichés.  Think Scream, but way more intricate and subversive.

The characters aren’t all necessarily likeable, but this level of satire allows them to develop and end up as effective parts of the story.  In addition, the actors who portray the five kids do sufficient jobs for what they’re characters require.

The different story layers stack up as the film progresses, and in the third act, they divulge into complete insanity in the best way possible.  While the last few moments might have gone a bit too over the top for my taste, the finale of this film is immensely entertaining, and the last shot of the film left me breathless.

Overall, if you’re a horror junkie, or a fan of laugh-out-loud tongue and cheek humor, The Cabin in the Woods delivers on both fronts in spades.  This is easily the best film of 2012 so far, and a cult classic in the making.


Categories: Movie Review
  1. April 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I’m not usually a fan of modern horror films, but loved the campiness of this one. Thanks for the commentary on satire–something that’s not apparent to those of us unfamiliar with the genre.

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