The Cabin in the woods is directed by Drew Goddard, written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and is not your typical horror film, not by a long shot, it follows the stereotypical horror story of a group of teenagers going on a weekend trip to a cabin where things go horribly wrong an murderous spirits emerge and people start dropping like flies.
The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connoly, Anna Hutchinson, Franz Kanz, Jesse Williams as the group of friends that have ventured to the cabin, they have no way of communciating with the outside world and quickly find out things aren’t right as they find a cellar full of old relics, certain books and an incantation in homage to Evil Dead and other horror films with incantations being a big plot device. One character reads from a certain book and invokes the evil spirits, starting a chain of events that quickly spiral out of control, the films cast is decent an the actors play their archetypal horror roles well as they’re supposed, parodying how those stereotypical characters always come across in horror movies.
And for what the film is going for, it does the parody quite well, with the actors being as good as the stereotypes they parody, which says a lot about the state of modern horror movies so in that sense the ‘bad acting’ is understandable, while the other elements of the film in the first half also work and you get your traditional horror film, deaths are fairly gruesome and the zombies and evil spirits are well, evil. The film really gets interesting when it turns out that the whole cabin in the wood horror plot is just an American tribute to the Gods and the entire story is being watched and maintained by a group outside the bounds of the base plot of the film, it’s a bit meta in its commentary on horror and actually pretty funny. As we see other horror stories playing out in the real world group of Japanese schoolgirls wish away a vengeful spirit and save themselves from it, scenes like these show the writers are aware of international horror tropes as well as American ones and seeing parts of the film touch on horror in a broad sense was interesting.
This twist from Cabin was a good one and it’s effective in making a pretty entertaining film which embraces its silliness with some great dialogue and over the top characters, Cabin was initially seen as quite polarizing and stood as a love or hate it type of film but I think it’s aged well in time, being seen as an overall more solid modern horror film.
The point that the movie makes about modern horror tropes are all on point and relevant and seeing the references to other horror films was awesome to watch as a horror fan, with a pretty manic final third. Cabin in the woods was something different, maybe a bit too on the nose for some horror fans but for myself, I found it quite enjoyable and it stands as a film I’d gladly re-watch if I come across it on TV.
. The plot twist actually works, makes the film more interesting
. Has some genuinely funny scenes
. Understandably polarizing