Director – Drew Goddard (The Good Place, Bad Times at the El Royale)
Starring – Kristen Connolly (The Bay, Evil), Fran Kranz (The Dark Tower, Bloodsucking Bastards), and Chris Hemsworth (Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Loki)
Release Date – 2011
Rating – 4.5/5
UHD Release – 3.5/5
Several years ago, a couple years before I started my reviewing journey, I was an active member of the Upcoming Horror Movies forum. I had spent several years in there making friends and discovering movies that I would not have found otherwise. Most were indie or no budget horror films but there was a few big budget releases that I would typically ignore that was brought to my attention by members of the group. A few of them had mentioned that they recently watched The Cabin in the Woods in theater. I wasn’t really interested in the film but after seeing how much love it was getting from them I decided to spin it.
I went to watch it and fucking loved it. It’s easily one of my favorite films and by far one of the best films to hit theaters of the last twenty years. I often revisit it when I get the chance so when I received news that the film was receiving an UHD release. I reached out and was able to snag the amazing steelbook release that is currently a Best Buy exclusive release. As soon as I could I tossed it in to check out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of college students as they head out to a cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway. What they don’t know is that their arrival at the cabin is part of an intricate ritual that has been in place for centuries with them serving as sacrifices to appease slumbering gods. **Spoiler alert**
The Cabin in the Woods is one of those rare instances where a film can throw everything at the viewer and it actually sticks. It’s a movie that is so absurd that it just has to work. It’s so well thought out and the odd and off the wall aspects of the film still finds a place. I’ve yet to meet someone that blatantly hates the film. People either fucking love it or they haven’t seen it.
The acting in this one is a lot of fun. We have so many enjoyable characters and many of them grow and change with the story. The amount of dedication and work it took for a lot of these performances is nothing shy of impressive with so many sticking out. I fucking loved Fran Kranz’s character along with the duo Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. Honestly, these two need their own spin-off. I had so much fun with the cast and the variety of characters we get. Some are more for comical relief but they all deliver fantastic performances.
The story for this one is so fucking fun. So many elements pop out of left field to catch the viewer off guard. The premise, a government organization that ritualistically sacrifices people to ancient gods using creatures and beings that have inspired myths and nightmares, is absolutely fantastic. I love the premise but having all this shoved into a feature length film with no prequel, sequel, or television show that explores it further is a fucking shame. There is so much more that could be done with the story and the fact nothing has been done with it in 11 years is criminal. I absolutely adore this story and the mix of humor and story.
Finally, the film is a mix of fantastic practical effects and dated visuals. I love the creature designs and practical effects. The film is surprisingly bloody and plenty of brutal moments but I’ve never been a fan of the visual effects in this film. They are noticeable and stick out like a sore thumb. Overall, The Cabin in the Woods is a film that I could never tire of. I absolutely love the story. It’s ambitious and takes some risks which works. I cannot recommend this film enough. If you haven’t seen this one yet I highly suggest you do so with this gorgeous release.
Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Drew Goddard & Writer-Producer Joss Whedon
We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods
Primal Terror: Visual Effects
An Army of Nightmares: Makeup & Animatronic Effects
The Secret Secret Stash