I will start by saying that I have always been a Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard fan. Drew has written some of the best Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Lost episodes that I have seen. The Cabin in the Woods is Drew’s chance to co-write and direct a feature film. Also, there has been so much positive buzz around this movie I was so excited to have the opportunity to finally watch it after a couple years of delay. So that being said, I can’t seem to grasp why I didn’t like The Cabin in the Woods very much at all.
The Cabin in the Woods is an ambitious horror film that unfortunately tries too hard to set itself apart from other movies in the genre. The basic story is nothing new, five kids take a trip to a cabin in the woods; horror ensues. The twist on the story is that there’s someone controlling their actions like a puppet master. However, the idea is never really fully developed until the end. The plot is given to us as a forced speech just to make sure the audience understands why everything has happened leading up to the end. This necessary speech makes The Cabin in the Woods feel like a bad episode of a TV show. Normally, Goddard and Whedon would have polished the script, and this kind of speech wouldn’t be needed. This laziness really surprised me because like I mentioned before, the duo have written so many powerful episodes of Buffy and Angel that The Cabin in the Woods does not feel like their best effort.
The highlight of the film is when the teens reach the evil base of operations, and we learn more about the monsters that are stalking them. Seeing the many different types of nightmares that live in Goddard’s mind is a real treat, and they are all on display here. Unfortunately, not much else in Cabin stands out. Please don’t be fooled by the glitz and glam of the concept, because a good concept doesn’t make a good movie.
RATING: 1.5 out of 4
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