This review is going to prove difficult to write so before I lose you I’ll just say that Cabin In The Woods is one of the funniest, terrifying and most refreshing films I’ve seen for years.
However if you want details, I’m not giving them up because they will contain spoilers! The synopsis, characters, genre, the setting, even the full cast… These are all details which are treacherous ground for a film that is best viewed with no prior knowledge, expectation or misconception about what you think you are about to witness.
The more you know the less you will enjoy. Let me tread very carefully through what you did expect to find out upon clicking to read this review. A group of five young friends take a trip to a remote cabin for a long weekend, in a location off the grid, unsurprisingly in some woods. Once there, it quickly becomes apparent there’s more to the strange and quirky cabin than they first realised, with fatal results. I usually have no time for horror films the fit this type of plot description.
As a genre, I find them to mostly be contrived, predictable and explicit. Cabin In The Woods is one almighty exception. Starring Chris Hemsworth (above, now better known as Thor), Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams and Fran Kranz, actors unknown and better known demonstrate their abilities to put in layered performances, battling their own character cliches despite the plot.
The directorial debut of Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and produced by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel & the upcoming Avengers movie). The pair also co-wrote the entire script. Cabin In The Woods appears to be a tribute but also an underhand criticism of the genre, sending up certain elements and defying expectations whilst keeping the scares very real.
The violence and brutality is unforgiving so do not be fooled by anything you’ve read citing this as a ‘horror comedy’. It is hilarious though, satirical, dark and inappropriately funny. From the ridiculous opening credits, to the slick and snappy dialogue, there are guaranteed laughs but again I can’t elaborate as to why without giving the game away.
That this movie was originally filmed and scheduled for release in 2009 and delayed due to a lack of interest from potential distributors is almost criminal. Praise should be reserved for Lionsgate Films for buying up the film to ensure this didn’t get canned indefinitely.
Call me old fashioned but I prefer not knowing what to expect before seeing it and I love the element of surprise, particularly at the cinema. If you avoid any details the film wants to spring upon you, to see it as the genius creators intended, it will be a much more rewarding experience.
On general release in the UK from 13th April.