The Cabin in the Woods
Reviewed by Galen Strickland
I'm not really a horror film fan. I prefer suspense to gore, the unexpected to the anticipated, but I've seen enough to recognize that most modern horror films follow a fairly set pattern of tropes and cliches. It could be argued the current trend began with John Carpenter's Halloween, then the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series, followed by The Evil Dead films. There are references to these and similar movies, but I was led to expect something different from The Cabin in the Woods. They nearly succeeded, but not quite.
Even though I try not to spoil things in my reviews, I'm wondering if that is really necessary here, and also wondering why Joss and others have been so insistent that critics refrain from it. I tried to stay as spoiler free as possible, and yet I had gleaned enough from various sources to concoct a theory about where the story was going to go, and I was pretty close. As it got further into the movie I started hoping there was going to be a big unexpected twist to prove me wrong, but it didn't come. I don't think that makes me smarter or more perceptive than the average movie-goer, but when I am expecting a twist I start looking for it, and in my opinion the overall plot was telegraphed fairly early in the movie, even though Joss and Drew might have thought they were good at misdirection.
Don't get me wrong, it's an enjoyable film, with good performances, excellent special effects, and a fairly decent story, which is hardly what I expect from today's slasher-type movies. But I know I won't be buying this on DVD or Blu-Ray, and if I ever feel the inclination to see it again I can always wait for it on Netflix. Your mileage may vary. If you are a horror film fan you may love it, or you might think it is too generic to become a favorite. One thing's for sure - [SPOILER ALERT!] - there won't be any sequels.
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