The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know the story, think again. 3.6 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
The Cabin in the Woods

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Horror, Thriller
Director Drew Goddard
Cast Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth, Franz Kranz, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Amy Acker, Richard Jenkins
Studio Lionsgate Films UK
Release Date April 2012
Running Time 104 mins
 

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know the story, think again.

Reviews

The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

If you wanted to be hyper-critical, you could argue Cabin is guilty of the sins that it condemns. It values narrative ingenuity over genuine horror and treats with flippant callousness the characters it slaughters for our gruesome scary-movie delectation. But I’m happy to swallow a small amount of hypocrisy in exchange for the pleasures this movie gave me.

13/04/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

A film with a lot to say: about the role of horror in our lives, about the questionable morality of audience manipulation, about the banality of modern evil. It’s become a Whedon motif to follow a lapel-grabbing action sequence with a sudden, sober appraisal of the human cost of violence, but that technique has rarely been as effective as here. Of course, none of this is ever allowed to get in the way of all the fun, but it’s still remarkable to see a mainstream movie touch on so many fascinating, powerful ideas without losing sight of its prime directive: to scare the socks off its audience.

11/04/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Why does nobody ever say “Dust mites! Dirty net curtains! Damp bedding!” and just head home instead? When the cellar door suddenly unlocks, why do they say “The wind must have blown it open” and step down into hell? It’s a top-notch cellar though, kitted out with props from every scary movie: dolls, mantraps, masks, knives, clockwork toys, saws and mechanical puzzles, all of which will play their part. And even though you know how silly this all is, you still feel the blood draining away into your legs.

12/04/2012

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Total Film

Jamie Graham

A super-entertaining, super-slick love/hate letter to horror with a final 20 minutes that’s stunningly bonkers.

09/04/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

... forceful, funny, frightening and ingenious ...

15/04/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathon Romney

The Cabin in the Woods does indeed make you think again, and again, but it's also a highly efficient thrill machine. Co-written by the Buffy creator Joss Whedon and the Cloverfield/Lost writer Drew Goddard, who also directed, this is a horror film about the reasons we watch horror films, and the morally questionable positions they sometimes put us in. It's as intensely self-reflexive as Scream – but The Cabin, while playing with similar ideas, is significantly different, and considerably less pedantic.

15/04/2012

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Time Magazine

Mary Pols

Even someone who has willingly sat through all seven installments of the Saw franchise may not be able to ignore the movie’s own stance that there is something wrong with the bloodshed — not just the enjoyment of it, but the numbing of our emotional response to it. The accompanying commentary isn’t exactly scolding, but it continually needles and raises questions. “You get used to it,” one character says of a gruesome death. “Should you?” asks another. What’s on trial here are the ridiculous rules of horror — that say, a whore is supposed to die while a virgin may live as long as she suffers — and what they say about our society.

11/04/2012

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Whedon maintains the film has a deep moral purpose, that it’s a critical examination of the motives behind the wave of torture-porn ... So we the audience are meant to be in some way responsible for what we are seeing, as it were the controllers, serving atavistic forces ourselves. That’s pretty much tosh, I think. This is not a film with anything like the profound horror and moral impact of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, which absolutely charges the viewer not just with complicity and voyeurism but with guilt for what is seen.

13/04/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

The Cabin in the Woods is all about the reality conspiracy; mentioning the film's specific influences runs the risk of spoilers. The quintet's sadistic, formulaic victimisation is part of a larger picture, one that semi-seriously reproves its own audience for the cynicism and cruelty they have brought to the spectacle. The action climaxes in a sensational, surreal scene in which pretty much all the horrible things imaginable meet in a grand encounter not only with each other, but with those whose job it is to keep them under control – a sequence perhaps inspired by the "elevator" scene in The Shining.

12/04/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Whedon and Goddard are pretty good at making us chortle, less so at maintaining a narrative grip. In the last reel the film runs away with itself, throwing almost anything at the screen and not much caring if it sticks. Two cheers for it, and a strangled belly-laugh.

13/04/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

The laughs come easily, the screams not so much. It's as if the filmmakers got so wrapped up in the satire they forgot to include the intense sensation of rising dread that creates all the thrills and chills that are part of the attraction.

13/04/2012

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Empire Magazine

Dan Jolin

Less a tale with a WTF twist, more a slow-reveal OMG mystery as the worlds of the kids and the wonks come together — or rather, as the barriers between them are revealed then removed. For the most part it’s a hoot, tailor-made for those out there who like to whoop at the kills rather than vicariously drench themselves in primal terror. Yet it does lack the strong characters and appealing sweetness of recent meta-horror Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, Goddard and Whedon dehumanising their principals a little too efficiently ... The ultimate reveal isn’t as smart as it could have been, dragging the concept back into convention rather than boosting it up onto an entirely new level.

10/04/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

The lesson of the “Scream” movies — a lesson their characters reliably failed to learn — was that a grasp of the semiotics of cinematic horror will not necessarily save you from a crazed killer. At its best, that series proved that it was possible to be spoofy and scary at the same time, to activate the cognitive and sensory circuits that produce both laughter and fear. “The Cabin in the Woods” bungles that relatively straightforward trick, partly because it wants to do a lot more than provide a dose of shrieks and giggles. There is a scholarly, nerdy, completist sensibility at work here that is impressive until it becomes exhausting. Not content to toss off just any horror movie, Mr. Goddard and Mr. Whedon have taken it upon themselves to make every horror movie.

12/04/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

The film’s central flaw is the conceit that if you “play with” or “subvert” the clichés of a genre, then somehow you are being ­original — but this film subverts clichés and then simply reverts to them when it suits the film-maker’s need to serve up the meat and veg of the horror genre.

15/04/2012

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The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

A Truman Show-like satire on voyeurism? Man, that’s weak. All definitively feeble horror films are about voyeurism (you the viewer want to see blood and want to be punished for wanting, blah blah) and never add up to more than a low-level grumble about the situation. And anyway, voyeurism – because we all already know it’s wrong – is impervious to satire.

12/04/2012

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