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He Said, She Said Review Site

Cabin in the Woods

What She said:

He

I can say right off the bat that I liked this movie;  whether or not you’ll like it, well, that’s a different question.  The Cabin in the Woods is a rather complex horror tale, a story wrapped within a story, that gets kind of meta, and maybe a little too meta for many to handle.  It also channels the likes of Scream in asking the viewer to laugh at moments that may typically be categorized as scary.  I really don’t want to give away too much here.  The Cabin in the Woods wants to unfold as a mystery, and it would devalue the movie if I were to explain the various plot lines, so let me just simplify things.  Five college-aged people go to a cabin in the woods where they’re terrorized, but things may not be all that they seem.

Cabin in the Woods

And that’s all I can tell you about the storyline.  I, personally, did not really find the movie scary.  Some of the more easily spooked might feel some horror in the film, but I was more amused than anything else.  That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of gore.  Oh yeah, there’s gore.  Blood, guts, limbs being ripped off, etc.  There’s also plenty of action and suspense.  But The Cabin in the Woods is not your stereotypical brainless horror flick.  It goes a little bit deeper in explaining why these folks are being tortured.  I’ve read some other reviews that say it’s a “smart” movie.  I wouldn’t say that it’s super smart or obnoxiously deep.  The movie is off the beaten path from the onset, and while you’ll be continually asking yourself what’s going on, you’re not really going to be asking yourself the meaning of life or anything like that.

The movie is both predictable and wholly unpredictable.  Once you see it you’ll understand why.  It’s also a bit awkward and strange at times.  I definitely held in some laughter as I felt others would judge me for perhaps inappropriately cracking up over another’s death.  The Cabin in the Woods seems meant to be a comedy but masks itself so well as a horror movie that you’ll feel bit uncomfortable being so thoroughly amused.  The He so eloquently pointed out to me that it sort of has the feel of Daybreakers, an action/horror movie that is just as concerned with making viewers laugh as it is concerned with making them jump from their seats. 

The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, and yet it assigns a bit more thought to its own origins story.  In that sense, it’s a bit full of itself.  But the point is to entertain, and I cannot say that I was at all disappointed.

Thumbs up.

What He said:

He

Ok, wow. How do I review this one? It’s one of those movies that is challenging to review, because you don’t want to give too much away. There is enough in this movie that unless you have been reading about it ahead of time, you wouldn’t and shouldn’t know until you see it. Trust me, it's better that way. Nobody likes having a movie spoiled for them.

Without giving too much away, I can tell you – that as the title suggests – this is about a cabin in the woods. Similar to other horror movies, this cabin in the woods serves as the headquarters for a bunch of youngsters seeking a weekend of booze, weed, and other general debauchery. Once they arrive, they found out all is not as it would seem in this mysterious cabin in these suddenly mysterious woods. Big surprise, right? It doesn’t exactly sound original and honestly that part of it isn’t. There’s a lot about this movie that borrows or pays homage to other horror films. So technically, it is not the most original movie ever made.

But the way the story unfolds and combine elements of other horror movies sort of turns this crazy mix of stuff into its own thing. In some weird way, it borrows from so many other sources that when it combines them all together it becomes its own unique concoction. This is not a particularly deep or intelligent movie, but it knows that and in some weird way that makes it kind of clever. It doesn’t try to be anything bigger or better than it is, which actually ends up being one of its strengths is. I’m not even sure if that makes sense, I just can’t think of a better way to describe it.

Cabin in the Woods

It reminds me of Scream or Daybreakers. It works as both a horror and comedy. You will find yourself laughing many times. There was this one time where I caught the She laughing as hard as I had ever seen. But it’s still pretty bloody too; so it’s not like they went cheap on the effects or gross factor. If you like horror and comedy in the same movie, give it a shot. The movie works as both a spoof and homage to horror films.

It also reminds me a little bit of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the TV show not the movie). I guess that makes sense since it was written and produced by Buffy creator Joss Wheedon (who had a hell of a summer). It was directed by Buffy alum, Drew Goddard. He’s never directed anything before, but has written a bunch of Buffy episodes (amongst other things).

Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers, Star Trek), Bradley Whitford (Revenge of the Nerds and Billy Madison), and Richard Jenkins (Stepbrothers and Let Me In) are the most recognizable faces. The other actors aren’t as well-known, but they do what they are supposed to do with the roles. The guy playing the stoner/slacker (Fran Kranz) was particularly amusing. He was like a live action version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Kristen Connolly was great as the lead. The character was one of many strong female characters the horror genre has become known for, and she hung right in there with the best of them. She had just the right amount of vulnerability and strength this kind of character needs.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was updated for your reading pleasure on October 1, 2012.