Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)

A trip to a cabin unlike any other cabin I’ve ever seen in a horror movie!

Written By: Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon
Directed By: Drew Goddard

Yes, Drew Goddard’s directorial debut, The Cabin In The Woods, is a meta horror movie. His direction, as well as the script he co-penned with Joss Whedon, understands the tropes of the horror genre and how to smartly comment on those tropes. The product that is The Cabin In The Woods fully understands that it is a product, yet at the same time it’s something a bit more than a simple product. For all of its smarts and all of its meta leanings The Cabin In The Woods is still comfortable being a horror movie and that is why it is such a great movie.

Don’t let any other horror buffs fool you, for as great as it may be The Cabin In The Woods is not the definitive word on the horror genre. It’s not the first meta horror film to come around, and it’s not going to be the last great meta horror movie ever made. The reason why The Cabin In The Woods is such a great experience is because of how it melds its horror commentary with genuine horror trappings. The script comments on the world of horror but the direction of Mr. Goddard delivers a truly horrific experience. He plays off of the meta nature of the script and manages to derive from his visuals and use of atmosphere moments that scream well made horror.

I’m not trying to sell the meta element of The Cabin In The Woods short, but I do think that aspect of the film has had more than enough prose written about it. In the end I found myself enjoying the comedy of The Cabin In The Woods, the gore of the deaths, and the wonderful performances of the actors as characters who are archetypes but something more. I enjoyed all of those elements, plus others, just as much if not more than the heavy meta slant found in The Cabin In The Woods.

It is the mixing of all the elements of a great horror film that provided me true joy while watching The Cabin In The Woods. The well timed one liners, the heroic moments cut short, the slaughterhouse atmosphere of the film, and ultimately the commentary on horror. The Cabin In The Woods is a blender movie if ever I’ve seen one, and the drink that comes out of the blender is refreshing and satisfying. The reason so many people are going crazy over The Cabin In The Woods is because of how well it plays around with its many elements. They may come for the scares, and get enjoyment from the meta, but it is the meshing of everything that makes up The Cabin In The Woods that gives the film true staying power.

The Cabin In The Woods isn’t the greatest horror movie ever made, but it doesn’t need to be. Underneath all the hype and hyperbole written about The Cabin In The Woods there is a great horror film. It is well made, it has interesting things to say, and the journey the film takes the viewer on is one heck of a ride. I know that when I watched The Cabin In The Woods I was just hoping for a good time. When I had a good time and got to watch a finely crafted horror film, well, that just made the commenting on the horror genre a nice little bit of icing on the cake.

Rating:

****

Cheers,
Bill

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9 responses to “Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)

  1. Good review Bill. This is a hell of a fun movie that features twists that got better and better as the film went on. It’s crazy that horror films can be this fun and entertaining just by smart and witty writing. However, it won’t last for too long so we might as well enjoy it while Whedon and Goodard are around.

  2. I can’t follow you down the rabbit hole of your last sentence. I congratulate Whedon and Goddard, moreso Goddard, for what they did with The Cabin In The Woods. But, I think the horror world is populated with plenty of smart and witty horror. That’s why for as great as I thought The Cabin In The Woods was I wouldn’t label it a game changer.

  3. Love this movie and had to slap it in my Top 20 horror movies list.

  4. It is a great one, but I think it’s just outside my top 20 or near the bottom of it.

  5. Pingback: Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: The 3rd Annual Bloody Machete Awards | Bill's Movie Emporium

  6. I liked this quite a bit too. It is true that the film’s textures of literal and meta horror form a great marriage. The very nature of what certain other characters are doing behind the scenes of the more traditional horror film we see unfold is part of the horror aspect, for what they and how they behave is just as horryfing. A very clever film.

  7. Indeed, I probably enjoyed my time with the behind the scenes characters the most of all.

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  9. Pingback: Splatter Time Fun Fest 2014: Angustia (Anguish, 1987) | Bill's Movie Emporium

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