Cabin in the Woods review

Drew Goddard
Kristen Connoly
Chris Hemsworth
Anna Hutchison
Fran Kranz
Jesse Williams
Richard Jenkins
Bradley Whitford
Rated: R

To bad Chris Hemsworth didn’t have his Thor powers in this movie, then it would’ve been a real party.

“The Cabin in the Woods” looks from the trailers like it could be your average five teens get stuck in the middle of no where and get killed off one by one type film, however as soon as the film opens it is revealed that it is far different then that. The film actually sets up a world where the entire situation that the supposed protagonists are going through is staged by a large powerful agency with it’s own agenda.

Once the film establishes these two pieces we follow the characters at the cabin and how they are being watched and even manipulated by the agency into going through some classic horror movie tropes.

Cabin in the Woods has a wonderful, fresh premise that carries a bit of charm that is akin to an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” The film flows along very nicely revealing more about the agency and their goals at a good pace as well as following the characters as they discover more about their surroundings. All of this leads to one of the most fun climaxes to a movie that I’ve seen in a while. The last 20 minutes are like riding a roller coaster through horror movies.

The characters are great here, especially the two that we are introduced to who are working for the agency, Sitterson played by Richard Jenkins and Hadley played by Bradley Whitford. Despite a lot riding on the success of their job and how bad their job actually is, the two portray it as just an average office career with things going on that you may find in any work place, which adds a lot to the comedic side of the film.

The five staying in the cabin are great as well. At the beginning they all seem like fairly reasonable people however as the movie goes on they are manipulated into their basic horror archetypes and do things that they normally probably wouldn’t do. The way they are able to carry this makes for great satire.

The writing is extremely strong here. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard put together a really great script which had very witty and smart dialogue. It was fantastic how well they managed to balance between being almost a parody of horror movies while still being scary at the same time.

Another piece of filmmaking that was eye catching was the set and creature designs. The command center that the agency has is filled with buttons and blinking lights and has a cool feel of being both retro and modern. The designs for the monsters were awesome too, and as the film goes on there is quite the variety to be seen.

“The Cabin in the Woods” is an original, smart satire with some good commentary on horror films through out the years and how they’ve been recently, and on top of that, it is extremely fun and entertaining to watch. This one is worth seeing as soon as possible. High 4 out of 5.

This review was first published in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s student newspaper, The Advocate.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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