I hate this film. So. Much. If nothing else please take that fact away, though I think my message will be clear over the next few hundred words.
Here is a film that has been delayed for years, only to be released to almost universal acclaim. I looked forward to the next era in horror without any real knowledge of what that meant.
If The Cabin in the Woods represents a reinvention of the wheel, then horror is driving on cubes.
The film opens in reasonably formulaic manner; an attractive quintet of interchangeable teen douche leave for a weekend away in a secluded cabin in the woods. Along the way they encounter an ominous gas station attendant to whom the words ‘Customer Service’ are a mystery, and once in the cabin they ignore the feeling that they are being watched, choose to overlook the macabre satanic artwork and bravely don bikinis and boardies and swim in the lake before partying the night away.
You haven’t lived until you have seen a blonde French kiss a wall mounted taxidermied wolf.
Then the cellar door opens…
The remainder of the film plays out like an ant farm owner altering the destinies of his ants using one of those kid’s origami paper chatterboxes. With a quick rhyme and some finger movements the random next scene is blurted out – oooh this time you chose zombies! Sure we are given a basic reason as to why these seemingly inexplicable events are happening, but it is hardly satisfactory nor particularly clever or original, being exactly the same technique as several other, better films.
There is even a character named Truman, I think they should have taken things a step further and just made his first name Wink.
The film pretends that it is a cliché buster, but that doesn’t seem to stop it from rolling out cliché after cliché one after the other – starting with the kids in the woods premise – It’s like an anti-porn film trying to lampoon the genre by cobbling together a series of classic porn scenes. On many more than one occasion I thought to myself ‘if this film is really that lazy there will be a big unnecessary noise here’. I was never proven wrong.
In lieu of genuine cleverness we have twist after twist, none of which make a lick of sense. It’s like the South Park manatees wrote this. Do you know what happens when you twist something too many times? It becomes a spiral, in this case a downward spiral.
The Cabin in the Woods seems to pride itself on not being a typical cabin in the woods horror film. In my opinion if you are a movie about something, but really about something else, but really truly about something altogether different entirely, you are about two ‘abouts’ too clever for your own pants. It has been many years since I considered walking out of a film that I paid for, I was struggling against my better judgment for the last 40 minutes here, well before the ‘surprise’ mystery cameo made me nearly choke on my own tongue.
I wish I left in the early stages when it was just another film about pretty kids awaiting butchery in a run down shack, that film had promise. Sometimes it is better to miss something and wonder if it was really that bad rather than watch it and know that it is.
Oh and above all else, The Cabin in the Woods is not one bit scary. Nor is it one bit entertaining.
Final Rating – 2 / 10. As a film fan I hated this film. As a horror film fan I fucking hated this film. Least satisfying film I have seen in the cinema for a long time. Definitely the most infuriating.