The Cabin in the Woods Movie Review
Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“This isn’t right. We should split up…we can cover more ground that way,” says Curt (Chris Hemsworth). “Really!” responds Marty (Fran Kranz), sarcastically, to his best friend who’s not really himself after almost being killed by something terrifying in the woods in the horror/comedy, The Cabin in the Woods.
Curt and Marty are in an isolated cabin in the woods for a little R&R with their good friends Dana (Kristen Connolly), Holden (Jesse Williams), and Jules (Anna Hutchison) when weird and bizarre things start to happen. Almost every member of the group begins to act out of character after spending time in the cabin … everyone except Marty who slowly starts to suspect that something very strange and sinister is going on.
Marty couldn’t be more right as he and his friends aren’t alone at all but are being closely monitored and somewhat controlled by a group of people led by two men, Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford), situated in a control room. It’s these men who’ve arranged for the young friends to end up at the cabin and who have unleashed the horrifyingly evil things in the woods, creatures whose sole purpose is to attack and kill Marty and his friends. Together, Marty, Curt, Dana, and the others must try to find a way out of the death trap that’s been set up for them.
Eerie, creepy and hilarious, The Cabin in the Woods takes the classic horror story and turns it on its head. The film has a solid cast, with Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) very effective as the smart, friendly jock leader of the group and Fran Kranz as the joint-smoking, conspiracy-believing jester in the group. He steals every scene he’s in and provides at least half of the laughs in the film.
Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are wonderful as the two men creating all the chaos and terror for the young people. The scenes in the control room with their characters trying to maneuver the young people in the cabin into doing certain things to aid in their demise are both disturbing and funny, with the great banter written in the script. The movie also has one of the most original opening scenes in a horror movie ever put on film. It’s nothing anyone would ever expect.
Perhaps the only weakness in the film is the performance by the female lead, Kristen Connolly. She has zero chemistry with any of the cast members and doesn’t convey any emotional shock or true terror until near the end of the film when her character, Dana, discovers the shocking, mind-bending truth of what has really been happening and why.
Creative, original, and refreshing, The Cabin in the Woods has a perfect blend of scares and laughs, making it one of the most entertaining horror movies to come along in years.
The Cabin in the Woods hits theaters on April 13, 2012.