Too bad Chris Hemsworth didn’t have his “Thor” powers in this movie, then it would’ve been a real party.
From the trailers, “The Cabin in the Woods” looks like it could be your average five-teens-get-stuck-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-and-get-killed-off-one-by-one type film, however, as soon as the film opens, it is revealed that it is far different than that. The film actually sets up a world where the entire situation that the supposed protagonists are going through is staged by a large powerful agency with it’s own agenda.
Once the film establishes these two pieces, we follow the characters at the cabin and how they are being watched and even manipulated by the agency into going through some classic horror movie tropes.
“Cabin in the Woods” has a wonderful, fresh premise that carries a bit of charm akin to an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” The film flows along very nicely revealing more about the agency and their goals at a good pace as well as following the characters as they discover more about their surroundings. All of this leads to one of the most fun climaxes in a movie that I’ve seen in a while; the last 20 minutes are like riding a roller coaster.
The characters are great here, especially the two who are working for the agency, Sitterson, played by Richard Jenkins, and Hadley, played by Bradley Whitford. Despite a lot riding on the success of their job and how bad their job actually is, the two portray it as just an average office job with things going on that you may find in any work place, adding to the comedic side of the film.
The five staying in the cabin are great as well. At the beginning, they all seem like fairly reasonable people, however, as the movie goes on, they are manipulated into basic horror archetypes and do things they normally wouldn’t do. The way they are able to carry this makes for great satire.
The writing is extremely strong here. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard put together a really great script which had very witty and smart dialogue. It was fantastic how well they managed to balance between being almost a parody of horror movies while still being scary.
Another piece of filmmaking that was eye catching was the set and creature designs. The command center that the agency has is filled with buttons and blinking lights and has a retro, yet modern feel. The designs for the monsters were awesome too, and as the film goes on, there is quite the variety to be seen.
“The Cabin in the Woods” is an original, smart satire with some good commentary on horror films through out the years and how they’ve been recently. On top of that, it is extremely fun and entertaining to watch. This one is worth seeing as soon as possible. High 4 out of 5.
BY MATTHEW LIEDKE