The Cabin in the Woods (15)

Film

Thrillers

Fran Kranz in The Cabin in the Woods

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 22 2011

Every few years, a horror movie comes along that promises to revitalise the genre, sometimes for the better (‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘Ringu’), sometimes not (‘Scream’, ‘Hostel’). From the pen of ‘Buffy’ creator Joss Whedon and ‘Cloverfield’ scribe Drew Goddard, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ doesn’t so much set out to reinvigorate horror as pick it apart, analyse it, laugh at it and then blow it to smithereens just for kicks. It’s the funniest horror film since ‘Evil Dead 2’, the smartest since ‘New Nightmare’ and surely one of the most breathlessly entertaining, original movies of the year.

It begins with an apparent non sequitur, as working stiffs Hadley (Richard Jenkins) and Sitterson (Bradley Whitford) discuss babyproofing in an anonymous office building. We then move to a gang of nubile twentysomethings, heading off to a remote cabin for fun, frolics and fornication. But how might these stories connect? And what’s going on in the cabin, with its two-way mirrors, mysterious forcefields and basement crammed with occult artefacts?

On one level, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ is simply a demonically enjoyable rollercoaster: Whedon’s knack for a snappy, offbeat one-liner remains unmatched, while first-time director Goddard’s control of his action set-pieces (of which there are many) is truly impressive. The way they toy with the clichéd iconography of horror is consistently rewarding: each time the movie seems to be following the obvious signposts, it veers wildly off into unexplored territory, resulting in scenes and images (watch out for the unicorn!) which remain lodged in the brain for days afterwards.

But this is also a film with a lot to say: about the role of horror in our lives, about the questionable morality of audience manipulation, about the banality of modern evil. It’s become a Whedon motif to follow a lapel-grabbing action sequence with a sudden, sober appraisal of the human cost of violence, but that technique has rarely been as effective as here. Of course, none of this is ever allowed to get in the way of all the fun, but it’s still remarkable to see a mainstream movie touch on so many fascinating, powerful ideas without losing sight of its prime directive: to scare the socks off its audience.

‘The Cabin in the Woods’ is clearly intended as a celebration of the world of horror cinema – but it could just as easily bury it. Its avalanche of ideas and invention have the potential to  revitalise the genre but, like ‘Scream’, it could also result in a stream of lazy knock-offs. But if this truly is the last word in great horror, you couldn’t ask for a better epitaph.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 13, 2012

Duration:

95 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford

Director:

Drew Goddard

Screenwriter:

Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:6
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|28
1 person listening
Percy

*SPOILER ALERT* Apologies if this isn't the right place to ask, but I've trawled plenty of blogs that don't seem to mention what I've been wondering since I watched this, which is why do Marty and Dana let the world end? Why is Marty so hellbent on staying alive for 8 extra minutes? It isn't stereotypical of their characters to be incredibly selfish/ignorant.

bored

loved this movie, its great fun through and through. those that comes expecting to be scared senseless might be disappointed, as most angry reviews here. relax, its just a movie guys. dont get your panties up in a bunch

bored

loved this movie, its great fun through and through. those that comes expecting to be scared senseless might be disappointed, as most angry reviews here. relax, its just a movie guys. dont get your panties up in a bunch

Justin Berkovi

Unfortunately this 'high' concept weird 'horror', 'comedy' just doesn't work on ANY level. It might have good intentions but just does not work at all as a film. The narrative is so all over the place and we're left with nothing but a bizarre collection of scenes and pretty lame CGI. Totally odd and not very good at all!

Numpty

A pretty decent mash-up of 'Evil Dead', 'The Trueman Show' and 'Scooby-doo The Movie' (though not nearly as accomplished as the first two). There's no horror or magic to the.. er.. horror or magic.. no memorable performances.. the ending just happens in a 'that's what it says on the last page' kind of way.. and anyone who claims it's chocked full of deep social cometary is just trying to hard (Tom), but all in all a jolly romp worth a good 7/10!! I rushed straight home afterwards, to watch 'Evil Dead II'.... and it's still BRILLIANT!!

cassius

If you loved Evil Dead 2, you'll love this even more. A classic horror-comedy.

cassius

If you loved Evil Dead 2, you'll love this even more. A classic horror-comedy.

Raza

This was mindless, dreary, trash, not particularly well acted, and certainly lacking any charm, intelligence or point. Go and wash your car (or someone else's if you don't have one) rather than wasting your time watching this pretentious rubbish.

Liv

This film is classic Whedon wonderfulness. It's unique style of horror comedy and awesome monster collection make this film one of the only interesting ones produced this year! You will not expect the plot at all and you will actually care about the characters! Warning: the humour is not main-stream or typical of films (this seems to have gone over some heads!) if you don't like Joss Whedon's work you probably won't like this movie!

Liv

This film is classic Whedon wonderfulness. It's unique style of horror comedy and awesome monster collection make this film one of the only interesting ones produced this year! You will not expect the plot at all and you will actually care about the characters! Warning: the humour is not main-stream or typical of films (this seems to have gone over some heads!) if you don't like Joss Whedon's work you probably won't like this movie!

ZodKneelsFirst

Wow Denise! Three times and still you haven't found out how to spell waste. You weren't the J Kyle watcher who talked all the way through the screening last night were you?

Isobel

I actually thought this was a really good film and it deserves 5*. Most of the film I was terrified yet it made me laugh alot! I thought the characters were great and although the whole story line was very random it was done very cleverly.

Isobel

I actually thought this was a really good film and it deserves 5*. Most of the film I was terrified yet it made me laugh alot! I thought the characters were great and although the whole story line was very random it was done very cleverly.

critique

Agree with those who say it has been over rated. Is it even a horror film? Surely the fundamental aim of a horror film is to horrify, to frighten to scare? Far, far too pleased with its own knowing "cleverness". "Best film of the year"? "An absolute genre shaker"? Pur-leez! Forgettable.

d hunter

this film was the biggest heap of crap total waist of money .very poor score out of 10 a big 0

FRAZIER

Comic horror- laughed out loud at times because it thankfully doesn't take itself seriously. My advice?Simple.Take a friend who likes the horror genre and compete to see who spots the most references and homages to horror films of the past. You've seen all these sequences before but not glued together (carelessly at times) in one film. It's not scary and as Ric said it's very overrated. Giving this work 5-stars reveals more about the standard of film reviewing rather than the standard of the film.It's a marmite film- some will love it, some will hate it. 2-stars for giving me a few laughs on a wet Tuesday night and a decent homage to some good films.

enjoyed

I actually really enjoyed this, but I suspect a lot of the bad reviews might have something to do with the playing around with the genre? If you're looking for genuine horror, this isn't it - in fact, I didn't even find it remotely scary. But enjoyed it as it was.

andy

Maybe little overrated but still good fun.Mut say that despite all the twists and turns can't say I enjoyed it any more than say something like The Hills Have eyes.I think possibly as well that people's expectations are being raised too much with all the rave reviews it is getting.

Ian

Its a flawed film but I really quite enjoyed it. It has more than enough in jokes and doesn't take itself too seriously to be a pleasant enough 2 hours in front of a screen. I went with an open mind and if you do you may well be pleasantly surprised.

lobg cat

A Leader In The Genre Of Horror is how one critic labled this tedious waste of film. Was Mr.Huddleston also at the wrong movie too? I think so. This should've went straight to DVD (bargain basement)

GoogleEye

I'b being generous with two stars. This film will probably appeal to film students and critics. It's basically a deconstruction of the genre picking at all horror film elements and having a laugh at the tried and tested often repeated formula. But and it's a big fat mamma but, not that great for the general entertainment seeking paying customer. Eminently forgettable.

scrumpyjack

Archgate, Cheers for the name check! but like, not loved...to adjust the opening of TH's review "Once every few months comes a film that critics go nuts over, but no one else does" Good film...that lodges in the brain for...ohhh, minutes at least! 7/10

WildWoodDreamer

I went to see this film because of favourable critics reviews, implying there was something novel about this film. I found it boring, juvenile, unoriginal and just like any other slasher movie. The plot was laughable. (Think I will give up on Hollywood Films and stick to European - Headhunters from Norway was great.)

Ric

A few chuckles & cheesy 'horror' How this got a five star i'll never know.

Blaize67

Well Kids, this is a real fun movie. I know the latest form of hype is to talk of de-construction but Cabin goes way beyond a horror flic take off/down. Original tongue in cheek black humour. Fine directing and a storming cast. You'll get swept along on it's roller-coaster. Recommended.

Mykhaylo

The trailer looks better than a movie, seen the movie yesterday and can say that the script si too exagerated. too many monsters. Seem it was written by 10 years old.

TM

Buffy and Angel fans will recognise a lot of themes (and actors) in Cabin in the Woods.