Cabin in the Woods: stereotypical horror or something more?

MOVIE REVIEW – Most people can agree that the horror film genre hasn’t had the best track record over the past 10 years. It seems as if filmmakers have lowered the standard for substance and character development in horror movies, and jacked up the nudity, shock, and gore. Movies like Saw and Hostel have paved the way for a parade of “torture porn” flicks that only draw creativity in death scenes. So with all these cookie cutter horror movies, can we – no pun intended – consider the genre

Well if you think horror is currently flat-lining I’m here to tell you that Cabin in the Woods is the electric pulse that may resuscitate the genre.

Directed and written by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and co-written by Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Avengers), Cabin in the Woods is about a group of five teenagers that head off to, you guessed it, a cabin in the woods, for a booze and marijuana-filled party weekend. However, they soon discover that they’re not alone.

Wait, haven’t we seen this movie before? It seems as if every single horror movie plays off this simple minded premise. The difference between this movie and every other teenage-slasher, is that Cabin in the Woods plays off the speculation that most horror films play off of the same outline. It also answers all the questions that critics of horror have been asking for years: Why are the teenagers so dumb? How come the type of characters is the same in every movie? Why can’t they ever just simply get in the car and leave?

Cabin in the Woods offers answers to those questions in a stylized and satirical fashion. Insisting the forces of evil in all these teenage horror stories may just be the tip of the iceberg to a greater purpose. Though rest assured, while this movie has its fair share of comedy, it is not a spoof. It still delivers its share of creepy moments and jumpy surprises. Fans of the teenage-slasher formula will be swooned by the first act, but possibly blown away by all that follows.

The cast of teenagers seem to be noticeably stale throughout the movie. In fact, they seem so stale that I assume it was voluntary. My assumption stems from the fact that there are two other important characters, played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, who absolutely shine. They act, in part, as the guides that walk you through the story.

So what can you expect from Cabin in the Woods? Without revealing too much I can tell you that Cabin in the Woods is a satirical tongue in cheek portrait that removes the hockey mask from the horror genre to reveal its true colors. With comedy and scares to spare, Cabin in the Woods is a brain picking thrill

The DeLaCruz Designation: A-

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4 Comments

  • techguy April 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Are movie reviews going to be a regular feature on STG News now?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic April 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      We are giving them a trial. Let us know what you think.

  • Shotgun April 18, 2012 at 7:27 am

    This review is a refreshing change and actually makes me want to watch this movie. I’m still thinking it’s the same old dumb teen slasher but now I got to know if that is really true. So, based on their review, yes, they did intrigue me and I will watch this movie.

  • Edward April 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Shotgun,

    I’ll highly advise this movie. The thing that keeps it from being the same old “dead-teen” movie is that it plays off of the fact that all “dead-teen” movies are the same. It makes fun of the sub-genre by ripping it apart and creating a satirical explanation for why these movies never change. Expect twists, turns, and gore.

    -Edward

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