The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Review: Twists in Twists

“Quaint abandoned property… sold.”

Synopsis: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Review Poster
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Calamity Brains:

It’s time for another Unpopular Opinion Puffin, guys: I don’t like The Cabin in the Woods.

Between the hype when the movie was released and the fact that Joss Whedon is one of the writers, it’s safe to say my expectations were sky-high. The previews looked promisingly creepy, and I’d heard enough whispers to know there were major twists to the storyline, which usually indicates a movie at least worth watching, if not a stellar movie.

But aside from applauding its originality, there was very little I enjoyed about The Cabin in the Woods. The setup and explanation of the horror tropes used is clever, but in the end fell flat for me mainly because it was a stupid explanation. I was interested in the movie until the audience learned the reason behind the creepy happenings – and then I was bored. The premise (while original) was so silly to me that I had a hard time taking any of the action seriously, and lost whatever concern I’d built up for the characters in danger. I liked the ending as well as anything else in the movie, and did appreciate the much-discussed twistiness, but… I just didn’t care.

Those who read a lot of reviews here will know that one of my main criteria for actually scary movies is that I need to feel empathy for the characters. But in a story where every character is deliberately a one-dimensional trope, it’s hard to be concerned about the danger they face. In trying to be cheeky about the horror genre and turn common rules on their head, The Cabin in the Woods deliberately designed characters and a scenario that felt too fake for me to care about.

If M. Night Shyamalan-type movies are your thing, The Cabin in the Woods may work for you better than it did for me. But I can’t truly recommend it.

Calamity Brains’ Rating: C-
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Calamity Brains

The Codex Mortis Horror Hosts (Ludwig von Stroodle and Calamity Brains) are married and live in West Virginia. Pretty much everyone who sees their cabin agrees that it would be an ideal setting for a horror movie. Their pets include a black widow spider, a smart dog, and a stupid dog. When they aren’t watching horror movies, they can be found at whiskey festivals, Renaissance fairs, and board game nights.

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