On first sight, you may think this is another cliched horror movie about college students who go to a cabin in the woods and bad things start to happen. If you’ve seen the trailer, you will probably assume that it’s a bit smarter than that – the bad things are actually being controlled by mean scientists behind a screen. But you will never expect what you’re about to see in The Cabin in the Woods.

Five college students take a vacation to an isolated shack, the ideal location for horror events. The characters are you’re normal stereotypes: the athlete, the stoner, the good girl, the naughty girl, and the brains. Great, you know what’s gonna happen – the athlete and the good girl will survive, then he will sacrifice himself to save her, and she might or might not end up dying. End of story, you don’t need to watch this movie. Well… No. The movie actually starts in the facility as we listen to the scientists’ conversations. You won’t quite get it at first, but it soon enough focuses on our main characters and you’ll temporarily forget the odd beginning. The story progresses as you’d expect. Night comes and they slowly discover that the cabin is a little spooky. Bad things/monsters/people (I won’t tell you which one) appear and attack. Once again, you think you have this movie figured out. But just continue watching and realize how wrong you were.

I am not a big fan of horror movies; in fact, I rarely watch them. But I decided to give this one a try, and I didn’t regret it at all. Now, when I usually review a movie, I talk about its essential qualities – plot, characters, originality, direction, acting, and so on – and out of these, I usually emphasize the what the movie was going for. For example, I gave Big Hero 6 a low score because an animated film should be original and I thought it wasn’t. On the other hand, Mad Max: Fury Road got a pretty high score because, while it’s plot wasn’t amazing, its focus was the action and it did a fantastic job. ForThe Cabin in the Woods, I could talk about these qualities, but they are not the point. The point of this movie is that it’s a metaphor – it deconstructs the horror genre accurately and it’s a perfect balance between satirical and scary scenes. And to be honest, I hadn’t fully understood the meaning behind this movie when I was watching it. At some parts I thought, ‘Aha! I see what they are doing’. But at others, I was utterly confused (with my confusion reaching its peak at the ending). Then later, when I researched and read about it in more detail, I began to appreciate the deeper aspects of the movie.I could try to explain these myself, but it just would be a lesser version of the explanations already existent online. Here are two links you should follow (view after watching):

  1. http://thenickelscreen.com/2012/04/18/the-cabin-in-the-woods-explained-its-a-giant-metaphor/
  2. http://www.avclub.com/article/almost-every-horror-reference-cabin-woods-explaine-211254
However, since this is my review, I will briefly talk about the difference qualities of The Cabin in the Woods. The plot is essentially divided into three parts. Each part will be an unexpected curve for the audience; they each contain different but appropriate tones that fit the director’s intentions. The characters are, as mentioned above, stereotypical. If this was any other movie, I would have railed against them vigorously. But since the point is to satirize every other movie that uses these characters (which are countless), these characters are excellent choices. Direction and action are both good. Originality? No need to talk about it.

If you are easily scared, don’t worry – it’s not very scary, just grow some balls and watch it. If you think most horror movies are unoriginal and stale, you’ll probably find this one fresh and amusing. Then, visit the links above to find out what you missed while watching. I think you’ll be surprised.

9.0/10 – It was an 8.0 the moment I finished watching it, a 8.5 once I did some research, and a 9.0 once I figured out the ending.


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