Movie Review: The Cabin In The Woods

I am a huge fan of 80’s horror movies. Always have been. I still recall the days of getting giddy whenever a new Friday The 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street movie was released.

Horror films sure have come a long way since the days when Jason and Freddy roamed aimlessly around. Truth be told, not many good ones are being released theatrically anymore. Perhaps it’s because the whole concept of horror movies has changed. Every idea has pretty much been used up.

That’s why when films like “Paranormal Activity” come around they are so successful. Its something we haven’t seen before and it makes the whole genre exciting again. At least for me.

Which leads me to “The Cabin In The Woods”. A film that has its own connection to the movies I loved. Heather Langencamp, who played Nancy in the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie, is a production coordinator for this one.

Following a typical formula, a group of students (Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams and Anna Hutchison) embark on a trip to…(wait for it)… a cabin in the woods to partake in a weekend of merriment.

There’s the tough guy athlete, the promiscuous girl, the smart dude, the stoner and the virgin. I know, we’ve all seen them before in dozens of films but go with me on this one.

When the group stops for gas and directions along the way a creepy attendant warns them that getting there isn’t the problem but coming back is. Something just isn’t right at the cabin and before too long they all, well the one’s who are left anyway, will discover the truth.

Here are my thoughts on “The Cabin In The Woods”. Although I’ll be careful not to give away too much I am still posting a “Spoiler Alert”. So, read on at your own risk:

What I Liked:

1. Kristen Connolly: When I first saw her in the opening scenes it quickly reminded me what I loved most about these types of movies. She has an amazing quality to her that entices you to keep watching.

2. The secret behind the cabin: Without giving anything away, the reason is pretty cool and something we haven’t seen before in horror.

3. The shout out to REO Speedwagon, one of my all time favorite bands. Very cool and very in your face.

4. The use of the “formula”: Although I don’t condone it, it was kind of funny to see the recreational drug use, brief nudity and funny one-liners again from people scared out of their wits. All staples of the 80’s films.

What I didn’t like:

1. The cinematography: It’s dark outside. I get that. But there were many scenes in this movie where I couldn’t tell what was going on. Not because I couldn’t follow the plot but because I couldn’t physically “SEE” it on the screen. It was even hard to discern what types of weapons were being used at times.

2. CGI: The use of this was a bit over the top at times and sort of changed the dynamic from a horror film to more like a comic book.

3. The Use of The “F” Word: Ok, maybe I’m nit-picking here a bit but c’mon, is there really a need to yell at a TV screen and say it a bunch of times in a row? Sometimes I think this is done just to help promote the “R” rating.

Fans of classic horror slasher films and those longing for new take on it will love “The Cabin in The Woods”. If for no better reason than to discover the secret it holds.

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