Cabin in the Woods is the first on my list that is a rewatch. (Addams Family was a rewatch from when I was a child but I couldn’t remember a thing) The first time I watched it was just after a Joss Whedon AMA on Reddit, where he was pushing his new films, Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. Despite being a bit of a jerk to a number of his fans, he sold me on Cabin in the Woods as I had just watched Firefly and he could do no wrong at that point. I still think he’s a bit of a jerk, and that his die-hard fans worship him a bit too much, but I am glad I was open to Cabin in the Woods, as I was not always in to horror at the time.
I don’t have a whole, whole lot to say about Cabin in the Woods. Mostly because I enjoyed it and couldn’t really find too many flaws, much like Gremlins.
I thought the standout performance in the film was by Anna Hutchison as Jules. The buildup to the makeout scene with the taxidermized wolf was priceless and it was equal parts unsettling. Also, I quite enjoyed watching the second time around as Jules gained the “weed immunity” that is revealed later in the film. Chris Hemsworth was good as always as Curt, as was Kristen Connolly as Dana.
I didn’t feel Fran Kranz as Marty was a a survivor, but a rather annoying one. I can get behind a lovable stoner (Like Shaggy or Tommy Chong), but he was just a little too despicable. Who knows, maybe this is what the filmmakers intended, but I thought his whole character arc was more annoying rather than entertaining. His humor fell flat and he wasn’t lovable in the least, making part of the movie fall apart for me. Had he been more endearing or blissfully uninterested in the world around him, I would have maybe wanted to see him survive at the end, but really I just wanted him to get pulverized by pretty much anything. Overall, the ending would have had a much different effect on me had he not been so irritating. Heck, even if you look at his character as symbolic as the viewer of a horror movie, he’s just not doing it for me. (He is seen pointing out plot flaws and inspecting film in the basement and even looks directly in to the camera)
The high point in the movie was the horror genre gauntlet. Deciding your fate in the basement was very reminiscent of Running Man to me and could be an entertaining parallel universe gameshow. The betting scenes were also fun. And it was so satisfying to see all of the monsters go wild at the end. Heck, I could watch a whole movie with various horror movie monsters attacking things. It was also a nice touch to see a unicorn be portrayed for what it is, a cold-blooded killer. (Why else would a horse have developed a horn but for to impale with?) Unfortunately we won’t be getting this satisfaction in a sequel any time soon since the filmmaker decided to be a jerk and say it couldn’t happen because he destroyed the world.
Overall, Cabin in the Woods was a refreshing look at the horror genre. If anything, it should make viewers think, all while providing ample entertainment. To me, it felt like Scooby Doo all grown up. (A lot of characters and plot points match up too!) Unfortunately I’m not too inspired to write about it because I can’t gripe and not much was quirky enough to note either. Overall, I give it 4.4 severed LEGO arms out of 5.