Ramblin’ Review: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS – 2012

Published by Shah Shahid on

If THE AVENGERS this past summer has taught us nothing else, it’s solidified the fact that Joss Whedon is awesome, for the masses! He also had another little film come out that summer, which Whedon co-wrote with his long time partner, Drew Goddard, who directed THE CABIN IN THE WOODS.

Blank Page Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Cabin In The Woods Poster

you think you know the story…

This film is awesome. Plain and simple. It’s a fresh take on a clichéd genre (in my opinion), which tries to explain and make fun of a genre that has some major pitfalls and formulas used over and over again. Horror films are awesome, but we hit a time, when the mainstream horror flicks became tired old formulaic mish mashes.

There was a surge of classic Horror remakes a while back, however, there’s nothing out there that interests me these days. Somehow though, I’ve fallen into a Horror movie Lovers’ crowd online through the Blogging Community, and I’ve learned from them that there is indeed a great Horror industry out there that are doing amazingly innovative and groundbreaking stuff.

However, I’ve still got the bitter taste of the commercially clichéd films in my mouth. This is probably why I loved THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, since the entire premise is a take on explaining the formulaic gimmicks that drive the typical horror film. Everything from investigating noises which ought to be left well enough alone, to making out in the dark creepy woods, to running up the stairs instead of out the door, all get brilliantly explained in this non genre specific thriller.

“what was that noise? come on… everyone in the mysteriously hidden basement!”

There’s no reasonable way for me to review this film, without spoilers, however I’ll try.  THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is deceptively not the movie it seems like it is. About a group of High School kids spending a summer weekend at a Cabin in the middle of nowhere, the story evolves into something a lot more complicated and layered and becomes a pure Joss Whedon entertainer through and through. Even first time director Drew Goddard shows shades of Whedon-ism in his execution of the film.

looks harmless enough right guys…?

The writing is spontaneous and fresh with Whedon written all over it. The dialogues are witty, original and often hilarious. Our Viking God Chris Hemsworth headlines this, but not really. Even the rest of the cast is a few familiar faces with some relatively unknowns being young and idiotic, as a typical teenage movie does. Whedon veteran Amy Acker has a minor part as well, along with the always awesome Bradley Whitford & Richard Jenkins as, what I can only qualify, the ones carrying the movie through out.

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is an amazing movie that addresses all the clichés, which drive a Horror Film, and, in a self-derogatory way, creates a story around those very same clichés. It’s almost like a satire wrapped in an original story, completely unlike the Wayans’ brothers’ parodies of formulaic films, which themselves became formulaic.

Drew Goddard’s first directorial was pretty good, despite not being able to make much of a dent at the box office. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS can be enjoyed as a satire of bad Horror movies, or as an original story itself and of course, by Whedon fans in general. The only thing to recall with this is not to expect an out and out Horror flick, which is how the film was promoted.

Get The Blu-ray

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Abbi · February 27, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Unlike most of this little blogging community that’s come together, I’m not a horror fan but I loved Cabin in the Woods.

    Shah Shahid · February 27, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Another non-horror fan. Awesome! *high five*
    I loved this, solely because it blew my mind and was something I wasn’t expecting at all.

    Thanks for the follow and for commenting Abbi. Hope you see you around more.

Tyson Carter · February 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Glad your part of our crowd 😉

You know, I really dislike this film the first time I saw it. However, I watched it again on blu ray and for some reason loved it!!!!! Maybe the first time round my head wasnt quite with it, I dont know, but my review will be up soon, but glad you liked it too Shah!! 🙂 Great write up dude.

    Shah Shahid · March 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Hey Tyson, I’m glad to hear you liked this. I’m not a fan of the genre, but thought this was awesome.

    Thanks for your comments man, sorry it took so long to reply.

claratsi · February 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I loved it and reviewed it sometime ago myself. you may want to check it out as I too had a lot good to say like you. It did something different. Was hilarious but equally unsettling and in parts, very horrific. I am a horror fan too, not fanatical but I love a good scare. I like the opening of your review. Straight of the bat unabashed – “this film is awesome” – Nice! You’re right too about mainstream horror being formulaic. It has to be one of the hardest genres to do something new in as most horror fans are wise to the tricks now. This one had new tricks.

    Shah Shahid · March 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Hey man, thanks for the comments. I will definitely check yours out. I only watched this because it was a Joss Whedon venture.

    Thanks for stopping by man!

zackmandell · February 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

This movie was a fantastic throwback to horror films that poke fun at themselves and was far more creative than a lot of the found footage/torture/ghost films coming out lately. Fantastic movie review !

Natasha Harmer · March 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Love this film, despite it taking a lot of the things straight from Scream ‘up the stairs instead of out the door’ is quoted in Scream. It’s very entertaining, but postmodern films such as this are unfortunately becoming as cliche as the horror genre! Every year Hollywood churns out at least one ‘film about a film’ and so many films these days are hyperconscious like this one…so for me it wasn’t anything new or fresh…plus the idea of a horror film being about the horror genre has already been done in the form of the Scream franchise. I tend to stick more with Asian horror these days, it’s far better than the Hollywood cliche’s!
Having said that this is definitely a good one, it had me in stitches a couple of times as well, and I love how Sigourney Weaver just pops up at the end, as she does!
Nice review 🙂

    Shah Shahid · March 19, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Hey Natasha. Thanks for stopping by… love your Blog. End gushing.

    I don’t disagree with you that these types of movies about movies are becoming cliche, and I think the unending ‘Scary Movie’ type of films have beaten the poor dead cinematic horse to the point of becoming mush. But this was less a parody, and more explaining the cliches as part of it’s own story. The release of gas to reduce rational thinking explaining the running into a dead end… genius! The roofies-like substances to further enhance dumb drunken teenage behaviour. And the fanboy in me can even take it a step further and point out that in a way, this can be considered canon to every Horror movie ever made, as they reference every Horror movie scenario as being part of the climax.

    OK. I’ll stop. I get what you mean though. I’ve given up on the horror genre, but I’ll appreciate a well done one if I come across it. I think the last ‘horror’ movie I saw was THE WOMAN IN BLACK: http://blankpagebeatdown.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/ramblin-reviews-the-woman-in-black-2012/

    Thanks for stopping bye. Hope to see ya more on here.

      Natasha Harmer · March 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      Lol yeah I did like it, it’s very clever (although the end got a bit OTT for me) but it’s just copied Scream essentially. Both are like, a hyperconscious pastiche; aware of the genre conventions and almost an homage to the genre. They are clever though no doubt about it, I tend to avoid British or American horrors these days…I did watch the woman in black, it’s not too bad but nothing special! Spanish and Asian horrors are one step ahead, a new Spanish horror called Sleep Tight is the last horror I watched and it’s totally unlike any horror film I’ve ever seen! It’s really good! 🙂

        Shah Shahid · March 20, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        Agreed on all points. SCREAM was genius. Although the sequels kinda… mm, yea. THE WOMAN IN BLACK was nothing special, I felt it was a big old school though. I’m done with Horror. But damn you… now I gotta look out for SLEEP TIGHT. Bah.

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