It’s not that there isn’t much to say about the film, it’s that there isn’t much I want to say about it.
The Cabin in the Woods
Let me start off by saying that I love movies of any genre, from any decade, from any country. But I love the horror genre more than any of them. I don’t know what it is about them. Most of them are retreads of other films. But to me there is an enduring quality of watching a group of teenagers entering a house knowing full well only one will make it out and the rest will meet their untimely demise to a demon or a stalker. Or say, zombies rising out of the ground then proceeding to slowly walk over to someone and eating them. Or a vampire intricately seducing a young woman only to bite her as the moon is fully lit.
Having said all this, I will probably make this the shortest review I ever write. It’s not that there isn’t much to say about The Cabin in the Woods, it’s that there isn’t much I want to say about it. The hype going into this movie was pretty big I must admit trying to step around reviews and spoilers in this day and age can be like coordinating yourself through a mine field. But I managed and am so glad I did because what happens throughout The Cabin in the Woods and its final 30 minutes are very, VERY refreshing to the horror genre. As I write this I’m trying to curb any details that will even remotely hint at what happens in the film.
The movie starts out in a massive underground office that looks like a villain’s lair straight out of a Bond movie. Two guys are discussing their lives and their jobs (the latter of which they don’t reveal ANY details). One is played by the ubiquitous Richard Jenkins and the other played by the vastly underrated Bradley Whitford. They both give the film’s best performances. A smash cut to grinding violins over the title of the film stops the scene dead in its tracks.
Now we meet our protagonists as they are packing and getting ready for a trip to, you guessed it, a cabin. The cabin happens to be located in, you guessed it again, the woods. The characters are all here: the athlete, the slut, the virgin, the bookworm and the conspiracy slinging pothead.
As soon as they drive off in their Winnebago, they are being watched. Watched by whom though and for what purpose is the mystery. The movie builds like a normal horror movie interspersed with scenes involving our two mystery men from the opening scene. They sit in a room with tons of monitors and multitudes of buttons and things that go bleep and blop. The cabin our heroes arrive in is being completely watched, bugged and ran by these two men.
What happens from here on out is completely organic and REFRESHING in a genre so stale and mostly bland. Most importantly, the movie is just so much fun. It never for one second takes itself seriously. It has fun with its roots. It embraces the history of its genre and sets out to obliterate it in one foul swoop. The ending does not have a cop out and stays true to its story.
I don’t think The Cabin in the Woods is perfect. It’s just on the edge of being great. Maybe in time, I will appreciate it even more. The movie is tons and tons of fun and like I said earlier, it’s above all refreshing. The movie will probably be appreciated more by horror hounds that get what the filmmakers were trying to do. The movie in my opinion is one of the most original in the genre to come out in some time. And if you know the genre, then you know that is saying something.