The Cabin in the Woods

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Film reviews

Directed by Drew Goddard. Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz.

Originally filmed in 2009 it’s taken this collaboration between Drew (Cloverfield) Goddard and Joss (Buffy) Whedon three years to reach the big screen due to rights issues, and as such the hype has had a long time to build, mainly it must be said down to the cult (somewhat deserved) around Whedon.

The premise seems simple, five teens go to a remote cabin in the woods and…well like the tagline says, you think you know the story.

You really don’t, so I’ll try and avoid spoilers, although in fairness it becomes clear almost immediately that things are not what they seen.

For me this is a tale of two films, one is very good, the other not so much. As a horror/comedy this works pretty well, although the comedy works better than the horror. Whedon and Goddard clearly know their horror films, and their horror tropes, and the film plays with our expectations, often with humorous results, when it comes to being scary, however ,the film is less successful. It is possible to do both, Scream was funny but also contained some truly tense moments, and sadly those are lacking here.

It is very funny though, that can’t be stressed too much, although only to a point, because perhaps two thirds of the way through things get decidedly bonkers. Now I’m a fan of sci-fi and horror, I can suspend my disbelief, but unfortunately preposterous only works if it’s consistent, and the more thought you give to the scenario we’re faced with the less sense it makes, which is a shame as there’s a neat idea or two at play here, unfortunately it feels like they came up with some cool ideas and only then tried to write a story around them, and it shows because they don’t hang together.

Still it deserves kudos for trying to do something different, even if that something different involves taking well known ingredients and mixing them up in a slightly different way (I say slightly because at heart this is just a really long episode of Buffy with a lot more blood) . It’s funny and well cast, and maybe I’ll like it better with a second viewing…of course maybe I’ll like it less too. Just sneaks a 7/10

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