I'm not quite sure what it is, but I like it
, 13 Apr 2012
The Cabin In The Woods is absolutely mad, and if you're a horror fan, you should see it. You may leave unsure whether you've just watched a parody, a loving homage or an elegant deconstruction of the genre (and critics will likely argue all three and more), but whatever it is, it's smart and funny and thoroughly entertaining.
There's an infamous plot twist which honestly, isn't critically important, so if you have a loud-mouthed friend who has already blurted it out, it won't ruin much. Although we start with a party in a backwoods cabin, copious amounts of beer and weed, and a group of attractive young people including a braying alpha male party dude, his highly sexed blonde girlfriend, a nerd, a goofy comic relief stoner and a smart brunette who is the obvious candidate for the position of Final Girl, it's clear right from the start that this isn't a straightforward story about college kids versus hillbillies or zombies, even when they start reading Latin out loud from that creepy beaten-up old diary they find in the cellar. There are frequent cuts to some kind of sinister, sciencey looking facility where people in lab coats are manipulating everything around the cabin from temperature levels through to the release of terrifying monsters. But why? Well, there's the plot twist.
It's difficult to say much more, but The Cabin In The Woods throws everything at the camera that a horror fan could possibly want without descending into cheesy and obvious fan-pandering. There are dozens of references and appearances of everything across the genre from Hellraiser to Evil Dead to a surprisingly fitting unicorn, but there is a genuine plot, and despite some rather funny banter and wacky situations, it's not a straight-up comedy at all. Is it actually horror then? Not entirely, it makes audiences jump, but it's the kind of slightly absurd premise that won't give even casual viewers a sleepless night. However, this is definitely a film made for horror fans. It's wickedly entertaining and knows how to be both smart and silly (it contains both unicorns and Fornicus, Lord of Pain and Bondage, for heaven's sake!) and the only reason for a horror fan to give this movie a miss is if they really hate fun.
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