Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods (Much More than your Average Slasher Movie)

It’s hard to do a decent review of this film without giving the plot away so I’ll keep this short.

 The Cabin in the Woods = Slasher flick meets Buffy.

We’ve got 5 college students going off for a peaceful trip to the woods and we know they’re about to be picked off one by one, but this isn’t simply another serial killer movie.  Here we have gamemakers Bradley Whitford (from The West Wing) and Richard Jenkins sitting comfortable in their secure conference room watching everything the players do.  Among this team of engineers/supervisors is Amy Acker (Fred from Angel and Dr. Saunders from Dollhouse; Joss Whedon seems to be loyal to his former staff). So we’ve got something of an adult Hunger Games going on here. Quite intriguing.

Back to the pitiful puppets.  There’s Dana (Kristen Connelly), the virginal, or close to virginal intelligent red-head, stoner Marty (Franz Kranz playing the same type of nerdy but loveably character he played in Dollhouse), the jock, Curt (Chris Hemsworth), his bubbly girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchinson) and single guy Holden (Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy).  Little do they know that they are pawns in someone else’s deadly game.

That’s as far as I can go plot-wise without ruining this film. Fans of Buffy, Joss Whedon and clever horror films will eat this up. It’s bloody and gory so if slasher flicks are not your thing then you might want to avoid this, but you will be missing out.  This is a horror film at its best: scary, funny in parts, intelligent with an underlying mythology and an original plot, characters that are likeable, and it will make you jump. The setting is also beautiful and spooky.  This film salutes a lot of past horror movie and reminded me of Friday the 13th, Wrong Turn and the “Homecoming” episode in season 3 of Buffy with Buffy and Cordelia unwittingly taking part in Slayer Fest ’98.  The Cabin in the Woods is a tongue-in-cheek story, very like the humour in Buffy.  It was great to watch on the big screen and I’ll be adding it to my dvd collection in the coming months. *****

I don’t think the trailer does this film justice so it’s best to avoid it if you can.

So has anyone seen this film yet? What did you think of it?

About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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24 Responses to Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods (Much More than your Average Slasher Movie)

  1. I was wondering about this movie. I like horror, but I’m not big on excessive gore. But I guess if I can watch the Final Destination movies, I can handle this, right? And, besides, it has two things going for it…Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth. The brains and the eye candy. LOL. I’m inclined to watch anything Joss Whedon writes because he’s just so witty! I may wait for this to come out on DVD since I can’t think of a single person who would go watch this with me.

    • Emma says:

      I don’t like gore either but this film is really worth seeing and the gore is nothing compared to those horrible Final Destination movies. I dragged a friend to this who I’m not sure realised it was a horror until we were sitting in the cinema! Too late then 🙂

  2. beckyday6 says:

    I’m seriously curious about seeing this movie. I’m not the biggest horror fan but I do enjoy the occasional one e.g The Grudge, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Return…..ohh wait….what do all those have in common? Links to Buffy, would you look at that! 😉 The fact that Joss Whedon is on this project is a huge draw for me, and as you mentioned the excellent cast. I think I may wait until it’s on DVD though, if I watch it in the cinema I can’t have a pillow to hide behind! 😛

    • Emma says:

      I love The Grudge and I Know What You Did… too. This is up there with those. I did jump a few times and spill my popcorn but it was well worth it 🙂

  3. Argh! My husband said this is a great movie, too. Slasher meets Buffy? Hmmm, that just sounds kind of fun, but the slasher part scares me. Annnnd Joss Whedon. Dang, looks like I’m going to have to put on my big girl panties and see it!

  4. Shannon says:

    I am not big on slasher movies but I have heard great things about Cabin in the Woods and now think I will have to drag someone to see it. That Joss Whedon is involved has some sway, definitely. Incidentally, the other writer and director, Drew Goddard, is originally from New Mexico, the state I live in.

    • Emma says:

      I’m laughing at all of us here in the comments. Looks like we all have to really convince our friends to go see this one with us, scaredy cats!
      Drew Goddard, I think he was involved in Cloverfield too. I’ve wanted to visit New Mexico ever since I started watching the tv show Roswell 🙂

      • Shannon says:

        Yes, he wrote Cloverfield, too (which I didn’t see, oops.) I’m trying to remember the last scary movie I saw–oh, it was Woman in Black. The Roswell UFO Museum is lots of fun. Roswell the TV show actually wasn’t filmed in NM, but the shows Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight are. Oh, and that Fright Night remake was, too. Wow, this has nothing to do with the original topic. 😀

      • Emma says:

        I saw the remake of Fright Night. New Mexico sounds like a great place to live. Going to get there someday I hope!

  5. Dalya Moon says:

    Saw it. Loved it. Adored how it felt like the Angel universe!

  6. Squee! All things horror lover over here. This is on my to see next list. Great review without spoilers, Emma! I didn’t know it had a full on slasher turn. Bonus. 🙂

    • Emma says:

      Hi Barbara, great to meet you. Let me know if you enjoy it. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I thought it was a refreshing change from the usual slasher flicks.

  7. Debra Kristi says:

    I thought this looked like your basic slasher flick. I was going to pass it up until I read your review. You may have changed my mind. Now I am curious. Might have to check this one out. Thanks, Emma!

  8. I saw it today, Emma. Loved it! Yes, it is totally like adult Hunger Games meets Scream for the slasher bits, wit and clever pieces. There were parts where I was like, “don’t do that” and others where I was chuckling out loud. Great special effects. I’m with you that this is one to get on DVD. Might see it again in the theater too.

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  10. I haven’t seen this yet but I really want to!!

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