Movie Review: Cabin in the Woods
- Article by Michael Benson
- April 24, 2012
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth
Five college students decide to take a trip to an empty cabin deep in the woods armed with nothing but drugs and bad dialogue. They stop for gas and meet an old attendant who warns them about the old cabin. Ignoring him, the group heads to the cabin anyway. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by mysterious workers who are undertaking a massive secret operation, one which apparently is taking place all over the world. In the basement they find mysterious objects, including a mystical orb and an old diary. One of the students reads from the diary which causes zombies to rise from the grave and attack two teenagers having sex in the woods. The rest of the group then strives for survival as the technicians and zombies attempt to end their lives.
This is the plot of Cabin in the Woods, and it’s hilarious. This film employs... Every. Single. Horror cliche. Ever. There’s the bad acting, the deserted cabin, the leader who suggests they all split up, the stoner who’s constantly getting high throughout the action, the dumb blonde, and the sassy brunette/redhead. There are trapdoors, cursed artifacts, teenagers getting killed while having sex in the woods, unnecessary explosions, and ridiculous deus ex machinas. It includes aspects of slasher, zombie-survival, psychological thriller, supernatural, and conspiracy horror film genres, all while subsequently making fun of such genre tropes in the process.
The most ironic thing about Cabin in the Woods is the way that, while it attempts to parody the horror genre and all of its lazy cliches in the fashion of films like Scream and The Evil Dead, it ends up looking disturbingly like some of the hilariously bad horror movies being released nowadays. This doesn’t hurt The Cabin in the Woods, and actually makes it seem all the more impressive that Goddard was able to make the film resemble those bad movies so well, yet still come off as intense, entertaining, and very funny.
I’ll admit that most of the reason I find this movie so entertaining is because I’m a cynical bastard when it comes to movies. I know a lot of people who love going cheesy action/horror movies just to laugh at how bad they are. I do see the humor in it, but I feel like my intelligence is being insulted when I pay for those kinds of movies. All that goes through my mind is that some movie executives threw together a poorly planned, written, directed, and acted film and knew that people would enjoy it and that they would make money off of it. But not from me. Because of this unhealthy way of thinking, Cabin in the Woods got a resounding “Fuck yes!” from me. Finally these sins are being called out. Even if nothing happens because of it, I am satisfied.
This movie even made me appreciate how those cheesy horror movies can actually be entertaining from a comedic standpoint. As I watched the film I was impressed with the way that the actors were able to do perfect impressions of the horrible actors in bad horror movies. Then it occurred to me that they are really just impersonating bad acting. Maybe they are all just bad actors. I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore.
And because of that, Cabin in the Woods is stuck with a “B+”. While this might read as an “A” review, the fact is that Cabin in the Woods, if you ignore the ingenious meta references and genre bending, is really just another bad horror movie at heart. No matter how entertaining, no bad horror movie will ever get an “A” rating from me (Except for Apollo 18, that movie was amazing).