The Cabin in the Woods is a slasher film that isn’t just trying to cash in on death and boobies… but there are death and boobies.
I have seen a couple other places do this and I feel like I owe it the same. If you do not want any type of spoiler at all, do yourself a favor and stop reading. Go see this movie with as little information as possible. Just know it is a slasher film. A bunch of teenagers go to a cabin and are attacked. That’s what you want to see and you’re going to get a lot more too. Now, on to the still not very spoiler-y, but a little more information than you may want review.
Horror movies are known for being predictable. They’re filled with archetypes we all know and, some of us, love. There’s the jock(Chris Hemsworth), the sexually charged bad girl(Anna Hutchison), the nice guy(Jesse Williams), the comic relief(Fran Kranz) and the good girl(typically a virgin or at least set on abstaining from the fun)(Kristin Connolly). It varies from film to film, but they typically end up in a secluded area where they split into small group and make increasingly stupid decisions until they’re mostly all murdered. The good girl usually survives and, if she’s lucky, gets to bring a friend along.
In that respect, The Cabin in the Woods is no different from the others. I personally grew up loving this genre. They’re not well acted and the stories are absurd, but there’s a joy in their simplicity(and sometimes boobies). My grandpa had a penchant for having marathons of these movies with my brothers and me. He especially enjoyed offering us money to touch the screen during extremely tense scenes(no one ever did). I will always have a special place for slasher movies and other horror films of their ilk.
The Cabin in the Woods has everything you want from a stupid slasher movie, but it differs by daring to ask why. Why do these people always make the dumbest decisions?(I don’t care how dirty you are, people are dying, it’s no time for a shower) Why do they always seem to find the perfect place in the forest to have sex? Why does this phenomenon of young people being murdered seem to happen nearly every year? The answers lie in a giant corporation having an affect on their actions. Don’t worry, there’s much more to it than that. The twists and turns will keep coming until the very end.
The two main guys representing this corporation are played by Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins and they’re great in their roles. The acting of the young people is more than passable and probably justifiable once you consider the meta things going on. Humor is used to great effect throughout the film. The standard slasher stuff stands by its self as a fine tribute.
The Cabin in the Woods isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t really aim to be. It wouldn’t be a send up of horror movies if it was. There’s one scene involving a motorcycle in particular that I really didn’t like, but it’s less than a minute.
I’m sure there will be more slasher movies made(and I’ll gladly watch them), but The Cabin in the Woods has rendered them unnecessary. The Cabin in the Woods essentially finishes the genre. I take my figurative hat off to Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The bottom line is, if you’re a fan of the horror/slasher genre, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. The Cabin in the Woods gets a Full Energy Drink and the best of luck to people attempting to top it.