The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Directed by Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams
When five college students head to the woods for a weekend of fun they get more than they expected. Now the mysterious cabin they’re staying in has revealed itself as no ordinary building. The students are now forced to decipher the secrets that the cabin holds. It may hold the keys to their survival.
Director Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and Joss Whedon (The Avengers) got together to create this unique and intelligent film. The cast includes a bunch of young faces that fit in perfectly for this type of story. This includes Kristen Connolly (Revolutionary Road), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Anna Hutchison (Spartacus: War of the Damned), Fran Kranz (Training Day), and Jesse Williams (Brooklyn’s Finest).
The story is an interesting blend of horror genres that doesn’t let you assume anything. The writing is a bit over-the-top, but that’s something I expect from most horror films marketed to young people. The twists are a bit predictable at times, but the overall story is fun and has enough tricks to avoid becoming cheesy.
Part of the success comes from the decision to cast recognized actors with a little skill, as opposed to unknowns that so often find their way into horror films. The actors had to make this work in a comedy sense, as well as making sure that the horror aspects are still convincing.
Another nice aspect of the film is the visual work done. Both the special effects and costuming work wonders with the wide array of creatures shown throughout the movie. The gore is intense and sometimes comedic, and it was another great move by the filmmakers.
My only complaint with this movie is the pacing. The first third of the film takes too long to set up the story. It could have been done without taking so much time. When the film finally hit its stride, it was a huge relief. This isn’t a fatal flaw, but it is something good to know going into this one since it will require a bit of patience.
This film was introduced as a blend of comedy, suspense, and horror, and actually pulls it off. I’m not sure if it’s a great movie, but it is a very good one. Lovers of horror films will definitely enjoy this movie. I would also recommend this to anyone who’s enjoyed films like Drag Me to Hell or The Evil Dead. I liked this one much more than I expected to. I give this one 3.7 out of 5 stars.