THE CABIN IN
THE WOODS

HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Cabin in the Woods
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
CRAP IN THE CABIN
POSTER ARTICLE
I THOUGHT OF IT FIRST!
NEWS
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS - 2012
USA Release: April 13, 2012
Mutant Enemy, AFX Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), United Artists, Lionsgate
Rated: USA: R

I didn't coin the word, Whedonesque, but once you see a few Joss Whedon movies (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SERENITY) or TV shows (FIREFLY, DOLLHOUSE) you'll get the drift.

Joss never goes for full fledged originality. His thing seems to be taking well-worn - even worn out - SF or Horror movie tropes and infusing them with a blast of freshener.

Whedon doesn't do it with hipster mockery (aren't we so clever?), but with talented insight into human nature. His characters are smart and they only get into problems due to being either unaware or flawed - but almost never because they're stupid.

We start with a couple of work drones, Sitterson (Richard Jenkins: THE CORE, THE BROKEN, LET ME IN) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford: PRESUMED INNOCENT, ROBOCOP 3), preparing for their job's big event. They have to work this weekend, but competition is in the air. The U.S. is competing against Japan (which has an unblemished record 3 years running) as well as other industrialized nations around the globe.

'We're number two so we try harder." says Hadley. Last year's loss to Japan involved Sitterson and Hadley passing the blame onto the Chemistry Department. Lin (Amy Acker: GROOM LAKE, DOLLHOUSE) is in charge of that department and she's not about to let Sitterson and Hadley pull that crap again.

Okay, so what are they up to? No idea yet, but it's a big enough deal to involve a top secret underground facility and possibly the U.S. government in the form of representative Truman (Brian White: BRICK): a clear outsider who stands with military bearing watching the proceedings. He would typically be Exposition Boy, but this is a Whedonesque movie so we'll have none of that. Truman has already been informed of what's going on and why he is there, so what questions he has only serve to deepen the mystery. What the hell is going on and why?

If the U.S. loses again, Truman is personally there to see who was responsible and report them to the top brass... whoever that is.

The object of this competition are the unwitting participants preparing to spend this weekend in a cabin in the woods. The cabin belongs to the unnamed cousin of Curt (Chris Hemsworth: STAR TREK, THOR). Curt is a towering 6 foot 3 inch, muscle cut gym rat and he isn't on an athletic scholarship? Uh... okay.

Curt's girlfriend is the sexually charged runway-model-looking Jules (Anna Hutchison: Yellow Cheetah Power Ranger - 2008). Despite her ditsy, breezy, party girl persona, she's actually a pre-med student. 'Kay.

Jules' friend is Dana (Kristen Connolly), the practically virginal bookworm. Jules is setting Dana up with the uber buff cut gym rat Holden (Jesse Williams), who is actually a studious bookworm. So everyone has a partner, right? But that's almost never how it works in one of these "cabin in the woods" movies.

From THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE to THE EVIL DEAD to CABIN FEVER and everything in between, before, and beyond, there is always the one loner out who winds up being the voice of reason/caution.

Why?

That's how these movies work.

There is nearly always the tag-along brother or sister who is the loner or the stoner or (the worst of these) the goth who is By Them Self. Even if everyone in the cabin is a guy (THE THING) or gal (DESCENT) in an otherwise straight movie, there is going to be the stoner yammering on about conspiracies and humanity destroying themselves: You gotta have the Palmer of the group. That falls to Dana's stoner brother, Marty (Fran Kranz: DONNIE DARKO, THE VILLAGE, RISE: THE BLOODHUNTER, DOLLHOUSE [TV]).

So they drive off in their big camper to a cabin in the woods. Along the way they have to stop for gas, and when they do, they meet the foulmouthed redneck meanie, Mordecai (Tim De Zarn: TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT, LADY KILLER, SPIDER-MAN, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING, RE-CUT). They have to because movies like this, from PSYCHO to the THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003 - and everything in between, before and beyond) to FRIDAY THE 13th, invariably have the whacked out religious nut blithering on about sin and condemnation.

After Mordecai pisses in their cornflakes, our five lab monkeys pass through a road tunnel in the mountain on their way to the cabin. When they do, we see some kind of force field energize. They don't know it yet, but they are trapped.

From this moment on everything they do is controlled by the people in the underground lab. While there is talk of the five young people's free will, the fact of the matter is, thanks to Lin in the Chemistry Department, Sitterson and Hadley (watching everything on massive monitors from secret cameras), control the decisions of the people in the cabin. When at one point, Curt suggests that they all stick together, an aerosol is released into the cabin giving everyone the "better idea" of splitting up.

Betting board

Okay, I've told you enough. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is not your average Huckleberry Hound. In fact, with the exception of John Carpenter's THE THING, it supersedes all cabin in the woods movies up to and including THE EVIL DEAD.

Yeah, that's right! It's scary without cheap scares - no leaping cats. It's gory without being stupid - no long drawn out stares at dismembered limbs until you reach the point where you realize you are merely looking at foam rubber. And it's funny without making fun of itself: bad puns, topical pop-trendy memes, or trotting out an ancient punch line to a long dead joke.

Cinematographer, Peter Deming (THE EVIL DEAD II, SCREAM [all], SPECIES, MULHOLLAND DR., DRAG ME TO HELL) provides the proper lighting (and he should know!) to complement Production Designer, Martin Whist (PHONE BOOTH, LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, THE ISLAND, CLOVERFIELD, SUPER 8) wonderful, right on the money, scenery.

Co-writer and producer Joss Whedon (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, FIREFLY, SERENITY, DOLLHOUSE), working with long time co-writer and first time director, Drew Goddard (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER [TV], ANGEL [TV], ALIAS [TV], CLOVERFIELD, LOST [TV]) has created a game changer. This is not a movie by bean counters or out-of-touch studio heads or past their prime directors. This is a movie by two writers who have long established themselves as people who know how a story needs to be written and told.

Whedon and Goddard are two people who are not only experienced and adept at bringing their unique perspective to their work (the two aren't always compatible), but are capable of capturing an audience that stays (nearly unique in itself!). Once you see THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, you'll never look at another Cabin In the Woods movie the same way again. Everything that comes after had better bring their A-Game.

4 Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlShriek GirlShriek GirlShriek Girl
This review copyright 2012 E.C.McMullen Jr.

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
BLU-RAY STREAMING SOUNDTRACK BOOK POSTER
The Cabin in the Woods (2011) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE
The Evil Dead Cabin Fever Tourist Trap
THE EVIL DEAD
MOVIE REVIEW
CABIN FEVER
MOVIE REVIEW
TOURIST TRAP
MOVIE REVIEW
FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE
ZAZZLE SHOP

 

LOVE THIS SITE?
Support it when you buy from

E.C. McMullen Jr.
PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
and more!

ALSO
IN CINEMA
E.C. McMullen Jr.

HEAD PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Mine Games
MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, ALEX MERAZ, BRIANA EVIGAN)

Dept. head
SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP
(SFX MUA) and Michael Madsen's stunt double on the movie
A Sierra Nevada Gunfight
A SIERRA NEVADA GUNFIGHT
(Starring:
MICHAEL MADSEN and JOHN SAVAGE).

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Universal Dead
UNIVERSAL DEAD
(Starring:
DOUG JONES, D.B. SWEENEY, GARY GRAHAM)

ART DIRECTOR
The Crusader THE CRUSADER
(Starring COLIN CUNNINGHAM, GARY GRAHAM)

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.