Cabin in the WoodsThe best way to experience The Cabin in the Woods is to go in completely blind. Avoid the trailer, in fact why are you reading this review anyway? Ah, because you want to know what the buzz is all about.

Well, the brains behind this gem of a movie are two names that are instantly recognisable to all fans of genre TV and movies. The film is written by the god-like genius Joss Whedon (Angel, Dollhouse, Buffy, Firefly, Serenity) and his long time friend Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Lost, Alias, Angel, Buffy). This alone should give you a taste of what to expect.

So what is the film about?

Well, not to give too much away, the movie starts off like your typical slasher/horror movie with the stereotypical college kids going on a vacation in a place that TriAdvisor would advise to avoid at all costs. For about three quarters of the movie we are treated to the usual staples of the genre, all the while there is an undercurrent that something isn’t quite right.

This is done through a clever use of editing and storytelling. We, the audience, know how this is going to end….. or so we think.

I sat in the cinema, watching what I thought was the conclusion of the film. At this point it is brutal and it’s all due to how it is shown on the screen. There is a stark contrast between normal goings on and one of the five victims facing off with the big bad.

Suddenly, the rug is pulled out from under you and you’re taken on a further roller coaster ride. This happens a good few times, but it seems that both Whedon and Goddard are only letting you just about catch your breath before hurtling you through more twists and turns.

The final conclusion is typical Whedon/Goddard fare.

As for the cast, the actors do an excellent job in portraying their characters. I especially liked Kristen Connelly who plays the good girl in the group and Fran Kranz who plays the stoner.

Connelly manages to make the character human and the proper final act is harrowing to watch. You can feel the complete hopelessness she feels at numerous times during the film, without resorting to cheap gimmicks.

Kranz is the comic relief in the film, but again he manages to do so in a way that feels natural and not at all cheesy. After seeing the film, I looked at his body of work and found that he is in many of Whedon’s works.

When watching this film, you have to remember it’s been sitting on the shelf for three years, gathering dust due to the financial issues that the original studio, MGM was going through. With this in mind we see the birth of Chris Hemsworth, as this was one of his first major roles. He plays the jock with relish, but without being arrogant. In fact this film, and working with Joss Whedon, landed him the role in Thor.

If you love horror, with a dark twist go see this film. Heck, go see it! It’s definitely a marmite film, you will either love it or hate it. There will be no middle ground.

I would recommend this film to fans of Shaun of the Dead, any Joss Whedon stuff or just something a bit different. This is destined to be a cult classic and I am definitely going to see it again!

RATING: 5 Stars

DIRECTOR: Drew Goddard
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Fran Kranz, Kristen Connelly, Amy Acker
GENRE: Horror
CERT: 15

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A self confessed geek who likes all things paranormal (except zombies as they scare her) Genre wise she likes horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fiction. [Gemma no longer reviews for BCC]


Vivienne April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

I really must see this!


Book Chick City April 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

Your review makes me want to see this NOW! I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, probably won't get time to see it at cinema :(


Hannah April 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

I NEED to see this but the other half doesn't like horror! D: So he won't. Grr.


Gemma_H April 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

@Vivienne:- Really, try and catch this. It is definetly a marmite film, but for people like me I thought it was brilliant.

@Carolyn- try your best to catch this. Really. Go see this before Avengers because it won't be out too long.

@Hannah:- If your other half likes sci-fi, tell him that its a hybrid of the two.

Thanks for the comments and I tried my VERY best to not spoil the review too much.


Carmen April 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm

REALLY want to see this one but with 3 kids and one on the way methinks I'm going to have to wait (impatiently) for the DVD. You sold me when you said fans of Shaun of the Dead should see it 😉


Gemma_H April 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

@Carmen:- Well whenever you see anything about the film, throw it away. If anyone says anything about it, stick your fingers in your ears and shout "La, La, la"


Kate@Midnight Book Girl April 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

This movie blew me away! The trailer made it seem so lame, but it's anything but!


Gemma_H April 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm

@Kate:- I can see why they had trouble narketing it. It would be so easy to spoil thetwist to the traditional horror movie.


Ryan April 28, 2012 at 5:07 am

I have been hesitant about seeing this one, but eveyrone I know seems to be loving it. I may have to cave in and go see it for myself.


Johannah April 28, 2012 at 5:19 am

I saw this movie on Tuesday and I loved it! Joss Whedon is one of my favorite directors/producers. I've seen most of the shows he help write or do or whatever, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Doll House. I love your review and how you didn't give anything away!


Gemma_H April 28, 2012 at 7:46 am

@Ryan:- go see it. Its a film you havw to make your own judgement on.

@Johannah:- Thanks. I wanted to try to convey how good the film is without spoiling it. Have you watched Firefly and Serenity? If not, watch them too!


Laura April 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

I wanna see it now!! I love Wheedon. Then there's also Avengers & Snow White & The Huntsman. So many good things at the cinema at the moment. Anyone want to babysit? 😉
Great review Gemma x


Carmen April 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

Gemma – gotcha. Am I taking it it's a kind of Sixth Sense ending? (Which WAS ruined for me by a film review programme of all things! The reviewer didn't like the film so said what the ending was! Aaargh!)


Gemma_H April 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

@carmen:- kind of. The Avengers for me this weekend.


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