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Film Review: Take a Fantastic Trip to Drew Goddard’s Brilliant ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

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CHICAGO – Drew Goddard’s “The Cabin in the Woods” is a brilliant dissection of not just the clichés of the horror film genre but how they have played a role in the darkest corners of our society for centuries. It’s also a damn blast, as fun a time as you’ll have in a movie theater this season (and probably next). It’s one of those rare films that’s just pulsing with energy on so many levels — as genre-loving comedy, as straight-up horror, and as something you’ve simply never seen before. “The Cabin in the Woods” is a great film.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

It’s also a film that works best the less you know about it. So I will tread VERY lightly with spoilers. Considering what Lionsgate has chosen to give away in their trailers, I’ll stick with those elements of the film but I will say this – you may think you know all you need to know about “The Cabin in the Woods.” You do not. You may think the preview gives away too much. It does not. From the very beginning of “Cabin,” the opening scene, Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon are playing with your expectations, not only as genre fans but as film goers in general. Who are these people? What are they doing? Where’s the cabin? Where are the damn woods? And, from that moment through to the end, Goddard and Whedon are in complete control. The best genre filmmakers of all time lead you by the nose, taking you to the edge of your seat and always guiding the way through their films in such a way that you can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner. They’re always ahead of you and keeping you focused. Goddard and Whedon do exactly that with “The Cabin in the Woods,” and the path is so much fun to take that you’ll leave wondering when you can do walk it again.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Cabin in the Woods” in our reviews section.

The basic foundation of “The Cabin in the Woods” is meant to be incredibly familiar to people who have even a passing interest in the horror genre: “Five beautiful young people in a cabin in the woods. Bad things happen there.” The people fit relatively (but not overly) into horror movie archetypes. There’s the beautiful virgin Dana (Kristen Connolly), the jock Curt (Chris Hemsworth), the pretty girl Jules (Anna Hutchison), the comic relief Marty (Fran Kranz), and the new guy Holden (Jesse Williams). The quintet goes to a cabin so deep in the woods that it’s away from technology, cell towers, and most of humanity. And from the minute they cross into the area surrounding the cabin, Goddard conveys that something is not at all normal here. These people are being manipulated, controlled, and pushed toward a required result. Who’s pushing them? Why? Is there anything they can do about it?

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Cabin in the Woods” review.

“The Cabin in the Woods” stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, and Amy Acker. It was written by Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon and directed by Goddard. It is rated R and opens on April 13, 2012.

The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods
Photo credit: Lionsgate

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