“The Cabin in the Woods” (2012) by Drew Godard

Director: Drew Godard

Cinematography: Peter Deming

Writers: Josh Whedon, Drew Godard

Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Fran Kanz

Rating: 86

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The first visual of “The Cabin in the Woods” throws Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford) and Gary Sitterson (Richard Jenkins), two cutthroat corporate type characters plastered in a holy white button-down, seemingly ramping up for a big company retreat to a “cabin in the woods,” throwing a variable curveball at the audience from the first shot of the film.

From the very first shot of the film, Cabin in the Woods surprises. It immediately sends us on a cosmic journey of grave importance to the survival of the human race involving five high school friends and a clad businessmen pulling all the strings. It’s pretty much the most bat-shit horror experience of all-time. A mishmash of every horror trope, villain, and scare is thrown into the blender and this backward experience is perfectly encapsulated into the product on the screen and it totally works.

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The great part of Cabin in the Woods and why it’s so effective in creating an enjoyable film is that it takes its premise seriously. Most films of this nature get drowned in the desire to be funny by overstuffing it with intentionally funny dialogue. Cabin in the Woods is brilliant because the acting and deliveries are organic and out of those performances comes great humor. It doesn’t try to be funny in a conventional sense but is absolutely a laugh riot.

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The aforementioned Whitford and Jenkins take this film to another level with their greedy, inhumane performances. They set the tone early in the story and continually mask their inner-evil before releasing complete hell on the main characters. Chris Hemsworth makes an appearance as the brave yet dumb jock of the group. The entire group includes the stereotypical horror slasher trope of the jock, hot girl, nerd, stoner, and…virgin all heading to a quiet cabin out in the woods. The fact that it’s all orchestrated by Whitford and Jenkins makes this film entirely unique.

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Verdict

It’s a terribly funny film that ends on such a perfect note. It’s hard to even begin to describe the amount of horror goodness this film LITERALLY packs into it. It’s got all the best parts of horror and satire but somehow doesn’t come away as cheesy or overdone. Watch to see every possible creature that terrified your nightmares as a kid in one film. 


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