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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2012
Content-free review: This was beyond awesome. Of course you shouldn't expect the movie to be gore-free, so if you can't stomach violence you should obviously forget about watching this, though you will be missing out. With this movie Whedon is definitely cemented in my heart as one of my top favourite scriptwriters.
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on 17 September 2012
This is clearly a movie that has been made with one purpose: To throw the middle finger up at over used Horror cliches. Inspired, funny, insightful, and full of some 'killer' characters. This is now in my top 10 fave horror movies of all time, right next to Army of Darkness
Well done Mr. Wheaton.
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on 11 June 2012
I'm not a fan of the 'torture porn' sub genre of horror -- the endless, graphic scenes of cruelty and carnage that have become the norm. Like the creators of this film, I think horror should be thrilling and suspenseful, and unexpected, but not vicious and nasty. What this film does is subvert many of the traditional horror conventions and at the same time critique the way 'torture porn' has threatened to take over. It's an intelligent and original film. More importantly, it is hilarious. I saw it in a crowded theatre with the audience loving every second. It won't be everyone's cup of tea and some people just don't like it when film is self-reflexive, but if you're looking for an entertaining night in then this is well worth a look. There aren't many films with genuine surprises. This one delivers a few.
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on 22 September 2012
I found this movie interesting, intelligent and hilarious. For someone who has consumed a lot of horror the nods, winks and homages will not go to waste and this is complemented by a sharp, witty script that never fails to throw a lampshade on the oldest clichés.

Although this film did make me laugh, it wasn't quite as amusing as some of the one-star reviews here that seem to miss the point entirely, describing it as "silly", "predictable" or "hilarious". Oh dear. Maybe try not to take your horror cinema so seriously next time.
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on 14 April 2012
I am extremely wary of films that have been hyped to such a degree as `The Cabin in the Woods', which raises our expectations and sets us up for disappointment. I also dislike the `fanboy' culture that such hype will inevitably inspire, preferring to make my own judgements and be pleasantly surprised. This particularly applies to horror, that most objective of genres. Thus far, TCITW has received highly favourable reviews across the board. As such, the showing I went to watch at the cinema last night was packed with viewers, unusual for a horror film even on its opening night. Should a horror film be so accessible?

One newspaper review I have read claims that TCITW `reinvents the horror genre'. I wouldn't say that exactly, but what writers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon have created is a smart, original and entertaining dissection of modern horror movie clichés, akin in style and humour to 'Scream', Wes Craven's satire of the slasher movie.

From the opening scenes we know that TCITW is going to be something a little bit different, as we are introduced to two colliding worlds. The first is very familiar to horror genre fans, as five good-looking teens with generic personalities (two girls; one level-headed and innocent, one promiscuous, a jock, a pot-head and a scholar) head off to a remote log cabin in the woods (strikingly similar to the log cabin featured in `The Evil Dead') for a weekend of consequence-free hedonism. The second is a more alien world, as two middle-aged technician types dressed in shirts and ties discuss their mundane home lives while arriving to work in an underground bunker adorned with CCTV camera screens and control panels. It is the connection between these two separate worlds that provides the film's big secret. This twist, surprising as it is, in the same vein as `Memento' or `The Usual Suspects', demands silence from those who have seen it first. As such, this is as much of the plot as I am willing to divulge, at the risk of spoiling the enjoyment for others.

Director Drew Goddard has great fun playing up to his character's stereotypes and some of the common clichés from the horror genre (such as reading Latin phrases from a creepy book) while creating a very good horror film in its own right, great fun, witty and with plenty of gory surprises. There are numerous wry nods to great horror films and characters of the past: Ringu, Hellraiser, The Evil Dead, The Shining, Stephen King's IT, Night of the Living Dead, Fright Night, to name but a few and these will be great fun to spot for a horror aficionado. If I had a single criticism, it would be that the film is so caught up in its own wry humour and affectionate pastiche that it sometimes forgets to be scary. Once the twist has been revealed, the director foregoes scares and chills for wild and visceral entertainment.

Perhaps TCITW isn't as genre-bending and radical as I have heard described, but its creators deserve great credit for following through on an original idea and carrying it off with great verve and a sly, wicked humour. TCITW is, overall, a hugely satisfying and entertaining addition to the genre it so lovingly pokes fun at. Just don't tell anyone how it ends. 8/10.
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I rather enjoy The Cabin In The Woods. It takes a horror we're all familiar with and turns it on it's head. It could be said that it tells the story behind the story of the teen slasher movie.

You almost get two films for your money. You get you every day teen slasher flick and then you get your... Well, that would be telling.

Not that it's any great twist. Well, it is. But it's not really a secret. You'll work it out more or less before the end but that's not the point. The real twist is concept and it doesn't matter when you work it out.

The Cabin in the Woods mixes humour, gore, and some incredible make-up and effects to create a fun film that, visually, and concept-wise is a real treat.

I found it fun, tense and thoroughly enjoyable to watch. If you're still in doint, it's Joss Whedon... Need I say more?
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on 6 April 2012
The less you know about it the better, so I'll simply say that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard take the horror genre, and rip it to pieces - cliches are over turned, archetypes are reversed, and just about everything that was ever wrong with so many typical horror films is mocked, with hilarious results. And despite this, the film never seems pious; it is as much a love letter to horror cinema as it is hate mail, supported by the simple fact that it really is incredibly suspenseful and scary, and has plenty of blood and guts to boot - one particular scene is bound to go down in history as one of horror cinema's greatest cathartic releases of gore.
It's hands down the most fun I've ever had in a cinema, and it's a film that really has to be seen.
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on 27 April 2012
This has to be one of the craziest horror genre movies ever made, what starts out as your average slasher horror becomes a whole different movie altogether by the end, its a very original idea yes, game changer no, nobody will be doing this again unless its a prequel, its very, very far fetched by the very end and leaves tons of dangling questions that could not possibly be explained, but besides that just go in and have fun with it, its utter madness about 20mins towards the end when shear terror is unleashed! You certainly wont see whats coming. The cast is very good, there is some pretty funny humour too. A must see for any horror fan it totally crazy.
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I never saw this film when it was released in cinemas and so for me this was my first viewing. With loads of horror films being the same old same old I did find this one quite refreshing. Five teens go off into the wilderness to stay for a weekend at a cabin, something that has been done many times before. Except in this film you don’t have some obnoxious loudmouth being silly all the time, and none of the five are over the top characters. A plus in my eyes at least as these films are usually very similar.

Where Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard have gone with this which is more than just a simple horror film and is quite clever. De-constructing and altering our expectations of a typical horror film this is something that takes in more than just a tale of five teens being attacked. Here we find that they are being played with and manipulated to a certain extent, as they have been chosen as a ritual sacrifice to protect the world from previous Gods and monsters.

So whilst we have the teens in the cabin at ground level, way underneath them is a control centre with numerous staff, all employed to make the sacrifice a success. Of course, as you would expect things do not go quite to plan and so there is a lot of blood, monsters and other creatures all killing and being killed.

In some ways this is a satire on a certain type of horror film, and can also be quite funny in its portrayal of the minions underground doing their mundane everyday job. Certainly this is entertaining and you should have a fun time watching this.

There are subtitles here as well as extras, including a making of featurette, audio commentary, a special effects featurette, and more.
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on 12 July 2013
Maybe it's worth laying something on the line here before I start - I don't think this movie was made for kids that like horror movies. I think it's more of a movie for horror fans old enough to remember the bombastic, non-pc, topless girls and machetes in heads scares of 70s and 80s cinema. If you're unable to grasp how gloriously silly those old-school dead-teenagers-at-a-summer-camp and what they were about, you might miss the joke in this film.

A group of college-kid stereotypes go off to a cabin in the woods to have the usual weekend of alcohol, drugs and (gasp) premarital sex. Oh, but wait, they aren't stereotypes at all (except maybe the stoner). And everything they do seems to be being monitored by guys in ties and labcoats in some kind of secret government facility. And the kids are being manipulated from the get-go into becoming stereotypes (except maybe the stoner). And the killer zombies in the woods are... ok, that would be telling, but suffice to say nothing about this typical 1980's slasher-movie plot is typical, and by the end everything you ever thought you knew about what happens to poor young 'uns in horror movies is turned on its head. And you just might understand why everyone splits up and dies stupidly in these kinds of flicks.

This is maybe the most Whedonlike Joss Whedon movie ever. It's knowingly clever (which is mildly irritating at times, but pop culture and in-jokes are the guy's hallmark), ironic as all hell and faultlessly crafted, and has plenty of those Whedon-tastic funny one liners. Each time you think you have a grip on it, Cabin in the Woods changes tack and hits you with something else that seems entirely nonsensical, but it all makes sense in the end. The kids are (or at least become) the recognisable monster cannon-fodder of old, and the growing cavalcade of monsters are all ones you've seen before in those kinds of films. This isn't so much a sensible horror movie, it's a glorious celebration of everything that was dumb and fun about those pre-torture-porn days of horror; a salute to friends in a darkened room or a drive in, downing beers and mocking the teens getting turned into shishkabob and waiting for the hot blonde to take her top off.

If you want shocks and violence that makes you wince, you are not going to find it here. But if you're of the right kind of age to remember when Jason Voorhees was the slaughter-king of Camp Crystal Lake, or when your dreams weren't safe from Freddy Krueger, and you'd have to be some kind of idiot to read a passage from an old book, or listen to a reel-to-reel you found in a cabin in the woods, you'll understand this movie in a few seconds. It's a tribute to more innocent horror; the kind you enjoyed for being unreal and silly and titillating and still a little forbidden back in those days gone by. And if you're like me, a member of Generation Evil Dead, you'll love this beautiful, homage-tastic joke, in all its many shades of spurting red stuff. A real modern gem.
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