After our recent viewing of The Cabin in the Woods, the much-buzzed about horror film from the mind of Midas – I mean Joss Whedon, Annie and Nikki decided that I should be the one to write the review, since I was basically bouncing out of my seat with joy, excitement, and satisfaction. Word of warning: If you haven’t seen this yet, please don’t read any further. Check out Annie’s spoiler free review, because this one is going to be full-on spoilerific. Seriously, do not read this if you haven’t seen the movie. You will be robbing yourself of a lovely experience. If you read this review before seeing the movie, you are one of those self-destructive people who likes to destroy their own happiness. You have been warned!
The Cabin in the Woods is a horror movie, yes – but it is so much more. Horror fans will likely enjoy it – and though I can take or leave the genre, I had a positively grand old time. All the horror elements are there (quite literally) – along with fantastic gore, and certainly the occasional tense moment and jolt of fear.
But you’ve also got laughs (primarily thanks to Fran Kranz (Marty) and Bradley Whitford (Hadley)) – and most importantly, the whole meta vibe of the film. It offers up a plate of commentary on the horror genre, of which my brain senses it is only scratching the surface. The interchangeability of the fear source – zombies, ghosts, inbreeds with chain saws, and hell, mermen. The stereotypical characters in most horror flicks – the fool, the jock, the slut, brain, and virgin – which the film’s initially atypical characters descend into, thanks to the controllers behind the cameras. This is an intelligent film, and possibly as close as you can get to sitting in a room with its amazing creators and talking about the genre.
As the film neared its end, and you learn that the destruction of the entire human race is within arm’s reach, my glee reached a precipice and froze – would the filmmakers go full tilt and decimate humanity, or would they puss out and save the world? I was momentarily unsure, but thankfully, since Joss Whedon is involved here, and he likes to kill people, they go for it. The gods burst forth from within the earth, and everybody dies – within which probably lies another layer of horror commentary, and for me, was nearing social commentary. (Annie often speaks of the need for a meteor to strike the earth…and I have a certain predilection for disaster movies (CLOVERFIELD, ANYONE!? Drew Goddard wrote both of these.).)
My main curiosity upon leaving the theater was how the film will hold up upon multiple viewings. Part of the fun is not knowing what’s going to happen, surely. And though I can’t officially say until it comes out on DVD and I buy it – which I will – I have a feeling that this movie is meaty enough – and just plain fun enough – that it will remain enjoyable and relevant.
Horror, gore, laughs, layers, intelligence, gleeful chaos, mystery, cinematic commentary, social commentary – The Cabin in the Woods has quite literally all that and a bag of chips. And the bag of chips is Sigourney Weaver. It’s the most fun you can have while sitting in a chair, but most importantly, it keeps you thinking once you’ve left that chair.