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Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods

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A Big Surprise

Assuming you neither care nor consider any of the above, The Cabin in the Woods is great fun though ironically, it doesn’t work as a horror movie. A minor flaw in the film’s architecture, the upfront flagging of artifice, means that the woodland menace besieging the teens never feels like a real threat. In any event, we know it to be a sideshow, a precursor to the real story, so can’t invest it as we would in a conventional stalk and slash-a-rama.

Goddard knows that he’s got better cards to play than the blood stained ones we know by rote and this may explain why the predatory parts of the movie are so flat and uninspired. The chutzpah comes later, in the problematic final act, in which a smorgasbord of horrors is unveiled.

There’s a nice, backhanded swipe at audience indifference to violence, as the show’s “producers” toast their success while a girl is brutalised on screen behind them; the one true horrific scene as a consequence. A gratifying orgy of death follows, in which the audience is brutalised by proxy. It smells like full-blooded satire. In a genre that’s creatively spent and gets off on ritualised forms of on-screen slaughter, perhaps this, and not Scream’s self-fellating take, is the full stop we’ve been waiting for. If it is, there are worst ways to go.

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Directed by: Drew Goddard

Country: US

Year: 2012

Running Time: 95 mins

Certificate: 15 for impenetrable logic.

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