Cabin in the Woods (2011) Review


This will probably be the shortest review I’ll ever do. Why? I really can’t do more than rant about how good this film is. And I can’t dissect it without potentially ruining the film. So; I’m writing trying to avoid anything spoilerish. Moreso than my usual self.

But I do have a question:

Why are you reading this review? Stop, just stop it right now. That’s an order. STOP READING THIS REVIEW! You’re still reading aren’t you? Why? Stop, while this review will be Spoiler Free; you will do yourself a disservice even reading this.

Stop reading this review, or ANY review. Don’t watch any TV spots, no more trailers or clips…wait until you’re in the theater before watching any more of ‘Cabin’.

I haven’t been this jazzed up after watching a horror film in a long, LONG time. The long wait has been well worth it, this is a rare case of a shining diamond that’s been waiting to be brought into the sun. This is a film made by fans, people who’re so totally passionate about the genre that it drips in every, single frame. The love and devotion is evident from the get-go.

Without a doubt ‘Cabin in the Woods’ is this generation’s Scream. There’s so much for horror fans to take in and there’s so much dissection of the genre; it practically rips it apart. There’s so much that warrants two, three or more viewings by fans. So many references to other films and beloved characters that had the audience I saw it with in stitches.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The story, penned by Joss Wheadon of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Firefly’ fame and Drew Goddard of ‘Cloverfield’ with Goddard in the director’s chair. A group of five friends go off into the woods for a weekend at a cabin in the woods for partying, drinking, sex, and weed.

Though their weekend is about to go to hell. Don’t’ they all?

That’s all I am going to say about the story; I won’t address it again. Any attempt to speak of it more might bring about some spoilers even in a subtle way and I’m not going to risk it. ‘Cabin’ is a film that needs to be discovered while being watched; even if friends beg you to tell you what happens…don’t. Tell them to see it themselves.

It’s fresh, it’s original and it goes to a place that I really didn’t expect and is pure brilliance. It’s the most original film in a long, long time. While ‘every story has been told’ there’s so much different here that it stands far and above everyone else.

Goddard’s direction is smooth and steady; blending horror and comedy to their perfect levels. Some fans might not like that the film isn’t the wall to wall fright-fest like they were hoping and others might feel that the humor wasn’t enough.

Reminiscent of classic horror like ‘Re-Animator’, abet slightly less campy; the tone is perfectly struck. The whole film is played totally straight with the humor coming from the actors and the situations they find themselves in. There’s no fourth-wall breaking, no winking at the camera, no tongue in cheek.

If you go in expecting one thing, prepare to be surprised by something totally different. It’s a real treat.

To answer the big question I’m sure every gorehound is wondering: Yes it’s violent. It’s brutally violent. For a moment I was wondering how this got the R rating but then realized that the raters were probably having a blast watching the film. The violence isn’t mean spirited as some films have gotten, it’s graphic, swift, and brutal but there isn’t a sense of cruelty.

Gorehounds should be pleased with the amount of red. Especially come act three.

The one thing that might be called beneficial to the long delay in the film’s release is that Chris Hemsworth has become a bit of a star since staring in ‘Thor’. Finished two years prior to donning the Nordic helm it’s easy to see the natural charisma and presence that certainly helped him winning the role. Though this isn’t a Hemsworth vehicle and like many pictures of this genre; he’s part of an ensemble.

Fran Kranz as the ubiquitous stoner provides much of the comic relief and his expressions sell as much as his verbal delivery. Kristen Connolly as the final girl is quickly likeable and truly harkens back to the hey-day of horror in the 70s-80s. Anna Hutchison plays the ‘frisky’ one, but at the same time there is intelligence and unlike a lot of other ‘frisky’ females in these movies; she is likeable. Jesse Williams rounds out the friends as the ‘nerd’ of the group who is more the everyman than anyone else.

And there’s a great cameo performance by a genre icon that will give fans as most would say: “a moment of squee”

The wait has been well worth it everyone. Go see this film; though in this case I hope that you’ve already seen it. In this rare case, I’d say that the film exceeds the 1-10 rating. This is one film that goes to 11. It goes off the deep end, off the chain, balls to the freaking wall…it does it all.

This is thegoldensimatar signing off saying…well going to say I’m not going to reveal the possible existence of something at the end of the credits.

Like I said; Spoiler Free.

A solid 11 outta 10.


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      1. René van der Kroon April 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

        I am extremely excited, can’t wait to see this one in cinema.

      2. fools2234 April 5, 2012 at 12:43 am

        “Final girl” you just gave away a pretty big spoiler you know? And PLEASE dont tell me this is yet another horror movie where the white female is the only one who lives. I cant remember the last time I saw a horror movie and the dude was the one to live to the end.

        • UltraViolent April 23, 2012 at 7:59 am

          You know who the final girl is all slashers pretty much while the opening credits roll. It’s one of the much loved cliches of slasher and is something that has to be done for it to be true to the 70s/80s. I don’t think it’s spoiling much knowing who the final female is going to be.

          I am soooo excited to see this!! I want to watch it now! This review has only upped my excitement meter and I will be dragging my slasher movie hating hubby with me to see this asap!

      3. Stephen Baker April 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        As with most horror movies that I’m excited about seeing I tend to stay away from any information thats provided anywhere about the film and I let things unfold as intended..  Cabin in the Woods is definately one of those films where The Less you know the better the experience..  Even when you look at the trailer it gives you a basic premise with 5 friends going into the woods for a weekend of debauchery and thats pretty much it..  You know it’s a horror film, you know that bad things are in store for the fabled 5 but what you get is the perfect movie to be released on the perfect day of Friday the 13th..  I only had heard about this as a film that went over huge at South by Southwest and as stated before I stayed away from information..  Just the praise it got made this a must see..