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Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome57.58%
Worth A Look: 21.21%
Average: 18.18%
Pretty Bad: 3.03%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 15 user ratings


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Cabin in the Woods, The
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by Charles Tatum

"The Watcher of the Woods"
3 stars

Without repeating the phrase "spoiler alert" every two sentences, I am going to try to review the trippy, disappointing "The Cabin in the Woods" without revealing too much about the film.

Five college students: virginal Dana (Kristen Connolly), jock Curt (Chris Hemsworth), hottie Jules (Anna Hutchison), pothead Marty (Fran Kranz), and jockish egghead Holden (Jesse Williams) head to an isolated cabin recently purchased by Curt's cousin. They encounter a creepy old guy (Tim DeZarn) who proclaims impending gloom and doom, arrive at the cabin, and discover unsettling things like a two-way mirror, a gory painting, and a basement full of items guaranteed to trigger some sort of evil.

Now, let's go ahead and kick in the "spoiler alert", even though this subplot is touched on in the preview and one of the first things the audience experiences: Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins are very entertaining as two weathered techies who seem to be manipulating what our five co-eds are experiencing. Until the cartoonish climax, which does feature a welcome cameo from the genre's most successful actress, the audience gets caught up in the machinations of the puppets and puppeteers. Alright, end of "spoiler alert".

The slasher film has been asking to be turned on its head for years, and aside from some spoofs and unimaginative reimaginings, we have become desensitized to these horror films. While writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard should be lauded for crafting something new, I did not feel like the parallel stories combined well. The slasher aspect is a foregone conclusion, and while some of its imagery is creepy, I quickly tired of it the same way I tired of the myriad of "Friday the 13th"/"A Nightmare on Elm Street" sequels (although a lot of the dark comedic elements had me laughing out loud).

The entire cast is great, they seem to know their characters are actually caricatures. The special effects are hot and cold, and maybe intentionally so. I felt the last half hour of the film thought itself so clever, it decided to let loose with a violent barrage that made me think "okay, the 'been there, seen that' element has broken out of the slasher plot and invaded the subplot." Sure, you can argue nothing like "The Cabin in the Woods" has ever been done before, but many elements of it have- from "The Truman Show" to "Cube" to "Hellraiser" and so on.

A friend who will never see the film asked me if everyone died in the end. I was able to give her a sweeping seven word sentence about the climax that made me realize how convoluted the plot gets. The six people in the theater with me seemed even more unimpressed with the film. Also, the gore and blood are so heavy (literally flowing) that suspense and scares are also killed in the process. The preview shown for "Chernobyl Diaries" had more squirm-inducing imagery than the last half hour of "The Cabin in the Woods."

Although not a bad film, this is not the groundbreaking event you may have been hyped into believing. Thank goodness we shouldn't have to worry about any sequels.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=18555&reviewer=325
originally posted: 05/03/12 00:53:58
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2012 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell fun & imaginative lots of monsters in the finale 4 stars
11/20/15 Bill Grimmel Very, very scary movie with humorous moments. Kristen Connolly was awesome. 5 stars
5/12/13 Marty Funny, gory, but I wish it was more scary. Unique, fun film. 4 stars
10/23/12 Stephanie I can't stop watching this movie. I love the wit! 5 stars
10/03/12 Katherine Very fun & original! 5 stars
9/23/12 mr.mike Flabby middle section is rescued by a slam-bang third act. 4 stars
9/17/12 action movie fan that,s right-it,s not scary and it gets more absurd as it goes on 2 stars
8/17/12 Langano Doesn't live up to the hype but better than your average hooror flick. 4 stars
5/08/12 Flipsider Very entertaining and original! It's only weakness is it's not scary. 4 stars
5/07/12 elbichosucio If you didn't like it, you're wrong. 5 stars
5/07/12 Adam Myles This movie was Phenomenal! 5 stars
4/19/12 Hannah Just pure wicked fun from start to finish! 5 stars
4/17/12 PAUL SHORTT DARING, ORIGINAL AND SMART 4 stars
4/17/12 Mark T. very differernt ending was a little rushed but still worth a look 4 stars
4/17/12 Quigley The most original and entertaining horror film since "Scream." Don't miss it. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Apr-2012 (R)
  DVD: 18-Sep-2012

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Apr-2012
  DVD: 18-Sep-2012




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