Review: “The Cabin in the Woods” – No Spoilers

Oh, Joss Whedon. You slay me.

It’s been a long time since I have seen a big commercial horror film with the guts to try something different. “The Cabin in the Woods” is different…and then some.

As the title suggests, this will be a spoiler free review. You have no idea how difficult that can be with a movie like this that rides on its unexpected twists and turns.

The film’s tagline “You think you know the story” suggests that a lot of people will be surprised by what actually goes down in the movie. And boy, were they. Half of my theatre was talking about how much it sucked while the rest were praising its cleverness. More on that later.

The story sets out like your garden variety horror film: 5 college stereotype characters go for a weekend camping trip only to find themselves in a life or death situation where an unstoppable force is hunting them. Yawn.

As moments from the trailer suggest, there is an outside force influencing the story. That’s all I’ll be sharing on that part of the story, but trust me, it’s both original and bold.

I was surprised by how funny the film was. I shouldn’t have been because Joss Whedon is a fantastic writer, but I was nonetheless. When I wasn’t laughing out loud at the smart dialogue, I quietly enjoyed the satire being played out on the screen.

The acting is also pretty decent, given the genre. A hammer-less Chris Hemsworth leads the cast.

While I would love to talk about the things that really made me enjoy the film, I can’t without spoiling it for you. So let me just say that the film is a brilliant satire on the current state of horror in America. The cookie cutter characters and killers, the overused settings and even the pace at which these movies tend to go.

This is not a typical horror movie. This is not a typical horror movie. This is not a typical horror movie. There, I told you 3 times. Now you don’t get to be one of the people leaving the theatre saying “I was expecting a normal horror movie.”

The only real flaw the movie has is that it isn’t that scary. There are a few scenes here and there with a lot of tension and a half-dozen or so jumpy parts, but people looking for scares may be a tad disappointed.

However, this minor inconvenience aside, there really wasn’t anything there to detract from my enjoyment of the film. Maybe a loose end here or there, but nothing big enough to really unnerve the movie universe.

If you’re as tired as I am of seeing the same ole recycled horror garbage, you may enjoy this breath of fresh air that Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard have delivered.

Grade: B+

My next review will probably be what some are calling the best action movie in years, “The Raid: Redemption.” Come back then and check it out.

Happy viewing.

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