Review: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Proves Horror’s Not Dead


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It was quite some time ago, so long I can’t even remember the exact date, that I came into possession of a mini-poster for a film I hadn’t heard of. The poster was tinted red, bearing only the image of an ominous looking cabin surrounded by a forest. The title brandished across the top was therefore far from enigmatic: The Cabin in the Woods. All I knew was that geek luminary Joss Whedon was involved in this apparent horror film and that a small, but audible buzz was building. Turns out it was co-written by Whedon and Drew Goddard (the director of Cloverfield), who would also be directing Cabin. My interest was further piqued.

Then the film slithered underground like some ancient monster, a studio fell apart, and Cabin in the Woods suffered a revolving door of release dates with no end in sight. Why is this tale of commercial woe at all relevant to this review? The longer Cabin sat unreleased, languishing in industry purgatory, the longer my expectations and desire to see the film germinated in the dank darkness of disappointment…like a mushroom? Whatever plant or fungus one may decide to adopt here, the point is that by the time I actually sat down to watch this film during SxSW, I began to fear that I had somehow built it up to much. I began to fret that my intense urge to finally bear witness to the film I had built up in my head had created an impossible expectation to which this film, by no fault of its own, would not be able to live up. Somehow, The Cabin in the Woods managed to exceed a two-year gestating hype and knock me completely on my ass.




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