How many times have you seen a horror movie in which a group of friends decides to go to a remote shack only to be slaughtered one by one? And let’s not forget about the obligatory gas station populated by rowdy locals. The same locals warn our young soon-to-be-dead heroes not to go to the shack. The Cabin in the Woods is this sort of Meta-slasher, a clever exploration of the genre with a lot to offer. First of all, the movie looks and feels really good. With a budget of $30 million and not too many stars, they could use almost all of the money for the right purposes. The CGI stood the test of time and more than ten years later still looks believable.
The Cabin in the Woods also has this sort of eighties aesthetic. Like it exists in this alternate universe where we didn’t get to the nineties or aughts. Like the technology advanced in sort of an eighties way if you know what I mean. Secondly, the pacing is ferocious making the runtime of just ninety minutes feel even shorter. Thirdly, the script and the general idea are quite creative along with most of the jokes. And yes, I know what you’re going to say, oh geez, a guy who’s a stoner finds a movie full of stoner jokes funny. And yes, that bong that also works as a coffee mug is real. It cost $5.000 to make just one prototype.
I checked online and you can now buy similar items for as low as $50. Although they’re not telescopic so there’s that. Anywhoo, back to the movie, it actually took me a while to warm up to Fran Kranz’s character. His overacting that was supposed to be funny just didn’t work and only when he abandoned it did Marty start to shine. Ahhh, I remember watching this movie superhigh for the first time and just being blown away. I kept turning around although I was watching it alone, trying to see if everybody else found it as good as I did. The Cabin in the Woods is a movie for horror movie fans that works so well for everybody else.
It’s just so sturdy, clever and entertaining that you’ll like it even if you don’t like the genre. The only reason why I didn’t recommend it back then was because I thought everybody knew about it. Now, more than ten years later, I’m not so sure about that. It’s one of those rare horror comedies you can watch over and over again. The replay value is tremendous just like it is with The Return of the Living Dead or Planet Terror.
The attention to detail is amazing and you can actually feel the escalation of the story. It keeps raising the stakes until we find out what’s actually going on. And then the real shit begins. Never before had I seen such a glorious, surprising, and entertaining finale of a horror movie. You could make a television show out of this concept without any issues. Although please do not do that, at least not without the involvement of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.
Five friends can’t wait to get to a remote cabin in the woods for some well-deserved fun. Some of them are looking for a break from studying, some are looking for sex, some for love, while Marty just wants to get high all the time. As all of this is unfolding, a group of scientists in a secret underground facility just received some bad news. It would appear that Stockholm and Japan have failed. Why is this important, who are these people and how are they connected to our young friends is up to you to find out.
It’s funny to think that after this movie Chris Hemsworth became Thor and the rest is history. Kristen Connolly was perfect as the feisty Dana along with cute Anna Hutchison playing her role pitch-perfect. However, Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins stole the show for me. They gave these usually boring scientists so much character, soul, and charm that you couldn’t help but like them. This brings us to the inspiration for The Cabin in the Woods. Drew Goddard, co-writer and director grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico surrounded by scientists.
All of them were casually working with nuclear materials and doing all these important tests. So, Drew wanted to make their jobs even more interesting. And fucking succeeded. I feel like this movie is all three The Evil Dead movies wrapped into one juicy package. Add to this blend a bit of insanity, brilliance, weed and a tad of a creative nineties masterpiece Cube and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford
Fun Facts: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote the script in just 3 days.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/