Welcome to Hayes Hudson's House of Horror (4H)

Your online source for Horror news, info, and reviews. I cover new and classic Horror, as well as Exploitation and Cult films. I also discuss books, comics, games, toys, clothing, etc, as long as it pertains to the Horror genre. My movie reviews are short and to the point, as I know when I come across a long review, I tend to skip that one. I hope you enjoy your time at my House of Horror! Come on in!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Movie Review; THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (could this be the world's only negative review for this film?)

***WARNING***  Review contains some minor spoilers  -- don't read if you have not seen the film and are planning on doing so

Written by:  Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Directed by: Drew Goddard

 Ok, am I the only person in American that didn't like this film?   I obviously LOVE horror films, and was super excited to see this film, and awaited in eager anticipation until I had a free night to go see it.  Well, I got to go this past Monday night and I have to say that this was probably one of my biggest "horror movie" disappointments I have had in a long time!  Notice I put "horror movie" in quotes.  This was not a horror movie by any means....it had some horror elements to it...lots of them actually, but yet the movie still managed to be nothing but a science fiction/comedy hybrid.   
 Here is the (very misleading) plot synopsis courtesy of imdb.com:
 Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
  Ok, that synopsis sounds simple enough.  And if they would have left it at that, it might have been a great horror movie, but there is so much more going on here that the film gets cluttered and tries to do too much in its 1:45 time length.
  Now don't get me wrong, the horror elements all throughout the film are excellent....the Buckners, the zombie family that makes several appearances, were great, and the scenes of the guy with the bear trap on a chain were great...unfortunately this only made up about probably 20 minutes of total screen time. The rest of the film was filled with the secret agency that never really gets explained.
An example of an awful scene was the scene where 2 kids infiltrate the secret agency that houses all these creatures and monsters. At one point the monsters  all get loose and end up destroying everyone around. These monsters included a werewolf, a merman, a giant cobra like snake, and....a unicorn. Yes, you read that right, a unicorn. Since when is a unicorn a monster? Just one more thing that didn't make sense to me and made me roll my eyes.
 Another thing I didn't care for in this film was the bad acting, and even bad dialog.  The film was filled with cheesy attempts at humor that just never seemed to work.   The stoner character was extremely annoying to me, making me not care about his character at all.  And don't even get me started on Sigourney Weaver's cameo at the end as the director of whatever the heck this agency was.  The dialog written for her was atrocious and I actually felt embarrassed for here for having to deliver such awful lines.
 I just don't get it.  The movie is getting rave reviews from everyone I know.  I can understand someone that isn't real big into horror thinking this is a great movie, but I can't explain why huge fans of horror, such as other horror bloggers like myself, are thinking this movie is so great.   I have heard people say it is "just what the horror genre needs" and they "hope more horror films are made like this".   I don't understand this at all. 
 Now, in the movie's defense, I will say that I went to the 9:50 pm showing, so maybe I was tired and groggy and just not in the mood for what this film was.   Also, with all the glowing reviews I read with everyone saying how good this movie was, maybe I was just expecting too much out of it. When it comes out on DVD, maybe I will give it another chance and see if I still feel the same.  Until then, I will take my horror films with less attempts at dumb humor, more zombies, and no unicorns!
 THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is in theaters now.  I look forward to the comments I am going to get on this post.  I really think I am the only horror movie fan that didn't like this film.   Is there anyone else out there that felt like I did about this movie?  Leave a comment below and let me know!
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer


  1. There's nothing wrong with the fact you didn't like the film, and no one can judge you for that, including myself.

    I have to say I enjoyed it most of the time, but wasn't really blown away by it. Yes, the secret agency was never explained properly and Weaver's dialogue was corny and stupid. I was pissed off by the terrible CGIs. Those monsters were so cheesy-looking, I couldn't believe my eyes. HOWEVER, it was refreshing, original and at times even daring (broke many horror cliches, didn't it?). Apart from the lame special effects, I loved the last 20 minutes, which were a complete mayhem. :)

    I see your point, and I partially agree with you. CITW was good, but far from exceptional.
    Definitely overrated.

  2. Thanks for your comment George!! I think you summed it up perfectly.

    1. Ide have to say I disagree. The agency was definitely thoroughly explained, hell they spell it all out for you at the end if you didn't already get it. This movie genuinely scared the shit outta me. Haven't talked to too many people that shared that experience, but the elevator scene and most everything after was terrifying in my book. I think Cabin In The Woods is greater appreciated by fans of Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos, afterall that's what it's about (the agency as well). I do agree that some of the monsters were cheesy and unnecessary, the unicorn being one of them, but the sheer brutality of the end definitely caught me off guard. And cmon man the parts of the film actually involving the cabin were nothing but precurser, movie would've been terrible without the end. To your credit it did seem a bit dragged out, but would've been horribly bland without at least some of the chaos. Also whats not to love about a movie where every single human on earth dies at the hands of the Ancient Ones? When has there been a Lovecraft movie even close to the caliber of this one? You have to at least appreciate that aspect of it!
      Sorry about ranting I just wanted to put in my 2 cents lol

  3. Thank you! You have saved me from wasting my time and money! I was deeply curious about this, and was trying to find a time to go see it. Glad I don't have to make the effort now.

    I am curious of your thoughts on Madison County, coming out on dvd 5/8, including redbox. Those guys are really great and friendly on FB, I am hoping it is great too!

  4. You're not alone. There are others out there.

    I didn't like the movie, either. But I may be the only person who doesn't like it due to having a moral issue with the choice the stoner makes at the end.

    - Cody

  5. Well it's hard for me to say if i loved it or not (the movie i mean) because i've seen it in theater with a couple of friend and we talked during the movie and got kicked out lol.

  6. Your not alone as my review was a negative one as well, yet I tried to go a step further and determine the steps that could have been taken to make it the greatest horror film ever: http://www.stumptownhorror.com/2012/04/review-cabin-in-woods-2012.html

  7. This is a hell of a fun movie that features twists that got better and better as the film went on. It’s crazy that horror films can be this fun and entertaining just by smart and witty writing. However, it won’t last for too long so we might as well enjoy it while Whedon and Goodard are around. Good review Hayes.

  8. Maybe it was the camp horror thing that just wasn't working for you?

    I loved it. It was classic Joss, and I loved Fran Kranz as the stoner.

    But the thing is, I'm a huge Buffy/Joss Whedon fan, so this was very much a treat for me. And I'm not at all a horror fan. I loved Kill Bill- the gore was so over the top it was hilarious. But even in Cabin I had to look away a lot. The Dawn of the Dead remake, which was not even scary after the opening scene, gave me permanent recurring nightmares lol.

    Maybe it's just more of a horror movie for non horror fans and camp fans. Also, I have this thing for SPOILER:

    evil unicorns and I almost died laughing because they made my dream of a badass monster unicorn a reality.

  9. Great comments everyone! Rian your review was excellent, couldn't have said it better myself! Dan, thanks for complimenting my review, even if you disagree with it. That is the great thing about movies, we can all like or dislike them, but we are all entitled to our own opinions about them!
    DoVon...I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "Maybe it's just more of a horror movie for non horror fans". I think that is spot on...true horror fans probably wont care for it, but plenty of people will.
    I'm glad a lot of people are enjoying the film, and I wish I could have, but it just didn't do it for me. Great comments everyone!!

  10. Ok that said, now for the evil >:)

    It's the maker of Buffy, Angel, Firelfly, and Dollhouse.

    What did you really think was gonna happen? Saw 18? If you went into that movie and didn't expect camp and drugs and evil corporations, you kinda already missed the point and you probably don't really get the genre- which isn't strict horror. And really, you just should have stayed at home at waited for the next Hostel or Saw prequel, or whatever.

    So there it is ;) Pew pew ;)

  11. PS Wait: You didn't like Portal either, did you?

  12. Easy to explain the group controlling everything: a division of Wolfram & Hart.

  13. yes...wat ur sayin is true...just wasting my time by watchin it...money..huh..very boring..

  14. I loved it, but I'm a huge Joss fan. When you adore Buffy, Angel, Firefly, etc., you crave that sensibility.

    I think the unicorn was there specifically because it's not a monster, and no one thinks of them as threatening, yet there is this weapon on its forehead...

    The secret group I take to be a metaphor for movie makers. The monster that must be appeased is the audience, with certain genre expectations, and a need for sex and violence.

  15. I finally saw this! Joss Whedon is literally the only man in the world I would watch a horror movie for. The redneck zombies scared the crap out of me but I'm such a wimp when it comes to stuff like that. I loved the meta storyline. Joss is a genius, obviously.