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We haven't covered it much here, but there's this film called THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, and Capone likes it a lot!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

The day has arrived. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, the film many of you have been waiting years to see, has finally made it to theaters. If you've chosen to, you've read virtually unanimous positive reviews, but hopefully you played this one smart and went with the advice of many of us who saw this a while back to stay away from any reviews or descriptions of the film, whether they have spoilers or not. There is something to be said for the days when the most you could ever know about a film before sitting in the theater to watch it might have been one trailer and one or two TV commercials. And few people have benefitted from the less-is-more approach to movie promoting like director and co-writer of CABIN, Drew Goddard, who last writing gig, CLOVERFIELD, seemingly came out of nowhere.

But THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a different monster entirely. No, it isn't a game changer that is going to set the horror movie-making community on its head and make it rethink the way it operates from here on out. But the film clearly comes from a place of frustration with, as well as love of, the genre. It lets those who make horror films know that we see into their bag of tricks, their basements filled with artifacts that may trigger any manner of scary creatures, their paint-by-numbers approach to knocking off young victims, their loud music crashes that make us jump at nothing.

I've seen the film SCREAM tossed about as an example of a self-referential work that CABIN resembles, but I think Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon owe more of a debt to MEN IN BLACK. Both films acknowledge the odd foreground (terrorizing creatures, aliens) as well as a group of unseen (by the general public) players that attempt to control the foreground. In CABIN's foreground, we have a group of five college students, including ones played by Chris Hemsworth (THOR, the upcoming SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) and Fran Kranz (Whedon's "Dollhouse"), who travel to the titular cabin for a vacation weekend. In the background, we have Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins, who appear to be manipulating events from a control room to mysterious ends. The juxtaposition of the cabin-based dwellers' terrifying story and humor that the pencil-pushing workers controlling things is fantastic.

And that's all I'm going to tell you about THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. The film uses the audience's knowledge of the way horror films work to its advantage, and it takes these films' predictable nature to, in a way, manipulate us. Every time you think you have an idea what's going on, you probably don't until that moment when all is revealed. This film is a shining example of a horror film that isn't afraid to show us its brains. It's proof positive that the genre is still capable of giving us something original and smart, and quite frankly, if you don't see this movie, something may be wrong with you. I will admit, the scares aren't that scary most of the time, and when the film does turn bloody, it's so cartoonish (most of the time) that it's tough to imagine that those of you who tend toward the squeamish will be bothered by any of it.

I was so genuinely impressed with THE CABIN IN THE WOODS that I can't imagine not going back to see it again and again. I've seen it twice now, and knowing all there is to know when you go for a repeat viewing turns it into an entirely different and equally great movie. I was especially impressed with the way Kranz plays the stoner character Marty, whose depth and perception go far beyond what you might expect. He's the breakout performance here, and I can't wait to see what he bring to Whedon's post-AVENGERS feature, Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGS. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is so perfect in so many ways that I'm actually eagerly awaiting the naysayers just to see how quickly they are beaten down by the fans of this wildly entertaining work.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • April 14, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    One word:

    by Matt Goodman


  • fucking reviews say nothing but "yeah there's this cabin and these guys and..that's all you get out of me". Well if it's so dangerous to spoil it well it must be shit because I know I bet if i knew the complete plot of Prometheus if would still suprise the hell out me visually..

  • I don't believe Capone is a masochist and I already like the poster. The review gives enough pointers to make me want to see it, and I guess those are as much as can be given away without spoiling it , otherwise more would have been said. Enough said until I see it.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    I'll go ahead and say it

    by SupermanIsMyGod

    If you don't go see Cabin, its YOUR FAULT (yes, you) that movies like this, original takes on a tired genre, don't happen more often. You forever lose your right to complain about Hollywood never taking chances. Enjoy your matinee of the three stooges, you fucking sheep

  • It was so secret that even the director didn't know what he was doing the whole time.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    OK seriously enough now. There are other films out there..

    by LowDevil

    The fact as to why this has been reviewed so well is it caters to everything reviewers love to see. For the rest of us this is just a good film. Its funny how reviewers are tumbling over each other to say the same things. Different than we are used to seeing? Yes. Is this film saving the world? No. Relax. Its just a good to almost great film. Thats all. Take a breath reviewers take a breath.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Some reviewer

    by sirens

    on this site stated that it wasn't scary at all, just funny, gory and surprising. That's not horror for me.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    why does it have to be horror? or a comedy?

    by SupermanIsMyGod

    Its a kickass flick that mixes genres in ways rarely seen. Isn't that enough?

  • April 14, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    3 words for you

    by bobbofatz

    Fucking decent

  • April 14, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Part CUBE, part MY LITTLE EYE, part TUCKER & DALE

    by gun_will_travel

    Sounds like a film I need to see!

  • April 14, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    I'd take another step further

    by sirens

    and say they fucked up the genre for years to come. On the other hand people thought Avatar was the god of science fiction to end all movies, but along came Prometheus. I don't know what to say.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Has any adult been scared by a movie in the past 10 years?

    by dumbastud

    This movie was startling, which is kinda a cheap scare tactic, but it was also really suspenseful at times. The part where the blonde is doing her dare was definitely suspenseful. and comedic relief has been used for centuries. It's good to make an audience relax before you try to scare them again. The audience i saw this with was laughing when things were supposed to be funny, and dead silent during the suspenseful parts. (an annoying lady behind me screamed out loud at every jump scare) the film was never boring, and the audience was emotionally affected. I'm gonna watch it again.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Movies that have scared me in the last ten years..

    by Kill List Hammertime

    Martyrs [rec] Inside The Descent Kill List Maybe not so much scared as disturbed with some of them. All brilliant movies though. But I see your point dumbastud, not exactly a long list is it? Can't wait to see this flick, unfortunately I've spoilt it for myself and know the ending. Oh well still stoked for it.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Scary Movies

    by Franck

    The Descent Ravenous 28 weeks later Slither

  • April 14, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    This movie gave me a "husband's bulge"

    by Ribbons

  • April 14, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Scary Movies

    by Franck

    And I second Jay on Martyrs. Disturbing beats scary.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    THE ROAD is absolutely a horror film.

    by blackwood

    So is SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, in case anyone thought otherwise.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    if edgar wright decided to do another horror movie

    by ben

    it wouldn't top this one. in fact, the only directors who could do a better genre mashup of horror would be the coens, and even those guys would have a rough go. this movie was fucking awesome.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    I dunno, even though The Road has horrific elements..

    by Kill List Hammertime

    ..I feel it's got so much going on with it it's hard to categorise, thanks in no small part to being based off of an amazing book. With you on Lambs though. Weirdly, me and the wife watched it yesterday afternoon. Still holds up. Shame about the sequels.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Much Ado About NothingS?

    by Daniel_S_Duvall

    ...from the author of Romeos and Juliets.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Only a sheep calls other people sheep

    by Von_Trierstein

    So you're a sheep and I'm a sheep and we're all just a bunch of fucking sheep... Woop-de-doo. SHEEP SHEEP!!!

  • April 14, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I wanna see this so bad, but I can't stand horror...

    by TheMachinist

    So freaking conflicted.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    It bombed at the box office...

    by paint163

    ...another failiure hyped beyond all belief by AICN and its plants.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST


    by Mudflapper

    The first Paranormal Activity scared me. Blair Witch Project scared me (saw it on opening night in Chicago and a couple girls were actually crying they were so freaked out). I'm so sick of cheap scares with loud orchestral stabs and the oh-it-was-just-the-cat-but-then-I-turned-around-and-got-a-hatchet-to-the-face. I don't like to be startled. Anyone can see BOO! really loud and make you jump. I wanna be truly scared with a true sense of dread and suspense.

  • This is worth your time and money. That is high praise these days.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Two words:

    by Titus05


  • April 14, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    holy shit that WAS an awesome movie!! the ending was the best!

    by antonphd

    whedon certainly does know how to deliver. damn. maybe i shouldn't have such low expectations for Avengers after all.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    paint163 - fuck you asshole

    by antonphd

    i just got home from watching it and the hype is deserved and once people see the movie it will get good word of mouth... just like Scream did years ago.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    cabin in the woods is more jurassic park then horror movie

    by antonphd

  • April 14, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    The Road was a horrifying movie

    by antonphd

    i felt like all of the light in life was gone after watching that movie it took me a day or so to shake it off that is not a movie to watch lightly

  • April 14, 2012, 4:52 p.m. CST

    This movie is just so much fun

    by NoQuarter

    I can't imagine not liking it!

  • book it

  • I've never seen any of Whedon's TV shows (& even now, I don't feel a particular rush to remedy that), but it was more the idea that this had a story that took all these stereotypes and turned them on their heads that sold me to want to see this right away (& the posters for this have been fucking badass, especially the one that looks like it came straight out of the 80s)

  • April 14, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Haters gonna hate.

    by Chang-A-Lang

    This movie is fucking awesome. It just works on so many levels for me and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it. The ending is perfect. Is it a great horror movie? No, but it is great. I'm just glad they rode their concept all the way to the end of the road. Too many stories pussy out when it comes time to deliver the goods. Not this one. Oh, and all the people who obsess over how much money this or any other film is going to make are just adorable. Maybe one day they'll care enough about movies to know what matters.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST


    by blackwood

    ...would be a great double feature. I would say HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, but it's not the same flavour. INNKEEPERS was fun. Mostly.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Box Office

    by blackwood

    It's the kind of movie that, if it's going to be a financial success, it's not on the opening weekend. People who dig this film are evangelizing it. I'd be surprised if it doesn't finish stronger than predicted. But it's an artistic success, and that's what counts.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Starting to like Chris Hemsworth

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    What?!?! Did I say the word "like"? Here? In an AICN talkback? I mean I hate the SOB. Hate him. Hate every ounce of his fiber. I crap down his throat (er not in a water sport way) and spit on his grave. He is pretty likeable on the screen and doesn't across as wooden so he might even out Swaz the Swaz himself in Red Dawn.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST


    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

  • April 14, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Cabin in the Woods was fun. The Raid was the horror movie.

    by antonphd

    The bad guys in The Raid were scary in a real way.

  • April 14, 2012, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Best opening scene ever

    by palinode

    Let's pick up some power drills and liberate some cabinets.

  • April 14, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Nod to Hellraiser was nice

    by Redc40

    And that was the best use of a unicorn since A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.

  • April 14, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Rough weekend for the movie.

    by JuanSanchez

    It will gross below comparatively "lowbrow" fare like My Bloody Valentine 3D and 7 of 8 Saw movies. Whedon really does need The Avengers.

  • April 14, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    SPOILERS - I'm a Whedonite but sadly disappointed

    by takapa

    SPOILERS I saw this on Friday in the UK after years of anticipation and months of agonizing avoidance of trailers and anything that constitutes spoilers. Please don't read this as me being a hater. I'm really not. I love Buffy, Firefly, Serenity and although I'm bitterly disappointed with the film, I still kind of liked Cabin in the Woods too. I was just disappointed that it appeared to me to squander its potential and I left the cinema (UK peep here) disappointed. I think the reason is that the premise was extremely shallow and extremely predictable after the scene with first lever. The whole setup of the movie in the cinema was not the spoil "the secret". Well, the secret could have been guessed 10 minutes into the movie, and there was no big reveal at the end of new information. I think I was disappointed because I expected more in terms of horror and more in terms of depth. The MacGuffin is that some unknown creatures require sacrifices. So some global agencies create horror scenarios to appease the ancient ones. This was extremely obvious from all the banter in the control room, and the first lever that was pulled. I expected there to be something else to the plot after the first lever. I expected the virgin to not be a virgin, or vice versa. To play with the rules a little. I expected the ancient ones to be good rather than evil. I expected something beyond the simple sacrifice scenario. I also did not understand how the ending was anything other than nonsensical. The stoner was extremely selfish and illogical to just sit there and let everyone die, including millions of children instead of stepping up as a hero and giving himself for the greater good. It would have been far edgier for the 'virgin' to kill her friend with his consent for the greater good, and for this in the end to have been a meta-test by a higher power. Another possibility would have even been edgier, if the whole thing had been a scenario to test the black guy in the control room that had reservations about the morality of the sacrifice. It would have also been fun for the cover story about the ancients to be in dispute to create some additional mystery and suspense. Threads were dropped in this movie, left, right and centre. What about the espionage inside the control room whose threads were dropped? Why was the black guy constantly questioning the morality of the scenario? Why show a one-way mirror if the only reason was to smash it later. Why not use it for suspense? Then there is the issue that the film is not truly scary. It certainly has some great comedic moments, and the closest the movie comes to scary is the scene with the wolf head, but beyond that, the zombie family are not that scary, and all the other monsters are introduced in an action context rather than a horror context. I was so excited for The Cabin in the Woods but ultimately it really disappointed me. I'm so sad. SPOILER END

  • April 14, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Kicked Ass!

    by furnari5

    Joss and Drew scored a 10 out of 10 with me.

  • April 14, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    Bradley Whitford

    by TheDesolateOne

    <p>Am I the only one who loathes this douche?<p> <p>I just thank God that he didn't turn out to be Red John.<p> <p>It would've simply ruined the second best show on television.<p> <p>The first obviously being Mad Men.<p>

  • April 14, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    justmyluck - it bored you? what are you doing on AICN?

    by antonphd

    the movie was geek heaven. it may bore non geek audiences, but i don't see how anyone who is a geek could be bored by the movie.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Hate horror, Loved Cabin

    by luke_lymon

    I got tired of horror films a long time ago. But trailers and fan-love for Thor/daddy Kirk gave me nudge. The humor started fast; light-heartedness complemented the humor; sexiness and naivete encouraged my hopes and one gas station attendendant assured me this was going to be fun. I never expected a horror film to come so close to being called ingenious as this one was. For me, the humor, the fear, the tension, and a totally unexpected story line merged together perfectly to deliver the package that horror films had been waiting for. Not perfect, but this horror film breaches the boundaries to overcome expected limitations and reaches out to drag us one-time fans back craving more of this original type of horror.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Whedon fan, not impressed

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    It was okay, but kinda reminded me of the let down of Drag Me To Hell. Spoiler.... Immediately after seeing other countries doing the same show, I figured they were all attempting some kinda of sacrifice to protect the world. And at some point it would turn out that they really needed to do this. That it turned out to be the "twist" was kinda lacking. Worse, the show was apparently meaningless since the victims can die by crashing into the invisible walls or simply being gunned down. The gods watching this seemingly wouldn't be amused in the same manner that being killed by monsters would. Which made the whole show pointless and it seemed stupid that they would risk the fate of the world without a failsafe of simply having a team gun them all down five minutes in. Then, yippie the world ends because it sucks people are sacrified to amuse old Gods. Powerful stuff there. Evil movie makers. Throw in nothing scary and a lot of the jokes falling flat and I wasn't happy.

  • When a movie turns to a basement of caged zombies, killer clowns and werewolves it might as well be described as having a glass floor — with *sucker* flashing in neon lights on the bottom. Thankfully my geek pedigree was about ten thousand times more evolved than yours.

  • April 14, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Twist, what twist?

    by NoQuarter

    Some people seem to think that the "twist" was lame, but I don't think any major twist was ever really intended. They gave half of it away in the first scene, for chrissakes! The rest of the "secrets" were slowly given away through the unfolding of the plot. I don't think the lack of a Shymalan-esque "AHA!" moment was disappointing because the way everything was revealed just felt smooth and natural to me. I didn't need there to be any single moment where I was supposed to say, "WTF!" It didn't feel necessary to the plot. And it was so fucking hilarious, in the same way that Shaun of the Dead was hilarious. God, I loved it!

  • April 14, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    I think the twist is supposed to be...(MAJOR SPOILAGE)

    by TheDesolateOne

    <p>...that the kids decide to let the world end rather than sacrificing themselves (well, one of them, namely Marty).<p> <p>At least that's the way I took it. The so-called "downer ending."<p>

  • ...but the writers chose to take their own allegory too literally at the end. The bit with the Japanese kids purging evil *wholesomely* to the chagrin of the Americans was EXACTLY the right tone for this kind of thing (and my only laugh). This meta-meta-meta shit desperately needs more of a Monty Python approach.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    takapa -

    by Johnny_Q_Peabody

    I had pretty much the same reaction you did. Based on what I'd heard, both here elsewhere, I expected it to go off it yet another direction at the end since everything that was going on seemed pretty obvious from fairly early on. It just seemed like they missed an opportunity twist things one more time. I like your suggestions. They could have also done something like... SPOILERS made the death of the Director fulfill sacrifice (she was a fool) or have the slaughter of the center employees Dana and Marty caused so please the ancient that the kids are somehow rewarded or, better yet, cause the director and operators to realize in horror that the stakes have been raised for next year and beyond. The whole "maybe it's someone else's turn" (or whatever the quote is) seemed like it was supposed to be profound and edgy but it just felt cheap and lazy. Finally, they really should have removed the bit with the hawk (or whatever kind of bird it was) flying into the screen/wall/whatever near the beginning, because that really ruined any suspense about what was going to happen with the bike jump. END SPOILERS This may make it sound like I didn't like the movie. I actually enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it. I just think it stumbled at the end.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    My attempt to piss in the wind... (spoilers)

    by jabberwokka

    The "old gods" are the horror movie audience. The control room is Hollywood, feeding us what they think we want to appease us. There was no "twist" involved here, the opening credits foretold of the sacrificial aspect of the plot even before the first scene. For me, when I warn people to see it before they are spoiled isn't because of some cheap Shamalian twist. It's to preserve the pure glee of the last act of the movie. To allow the joy of watching the chaos unfold. The final moments are the fools gold at the end of the rainbow, the real prize is the colors of the rainbow that led us there, and seeing those colors unspoiled is the true treasure.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Haven't read any hate yet, but FUCK THE HATERS in advance

    by Mattman

    This movie fucking rocked.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST

    justmyluck - and what geek movies, pray tell, do not bore you?

    by antonphd

    my comment was hyperbolic, like yours, but since i am in the mood for a conversation, why don't you share what geek movies you to enjoy

  • April 15, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST


    by Felix

    Well, said. No one ever claimed there was some huge twist. And to the wanker who thinks his ideas would make a better movie with his little tweeks, make your own damned movie! Tacking on your half baked thoughts onto someone else's movie just shows what a lack of creativity you have.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Making a big deal about revealing nothing...(spoilers)

    by disastermag

    ...will just raise expectations beyond what the movie actually delivers. And it's a fun, smart movie. It's not going to 'change the game' for horror movies. Come's too much of a parody, even if it's some kind of meta-parody or whatever. That's like saying that after Spinal Tap, rock stars stopped stuffing their trousers and toned down the sexual innuendo. A bunch of kids go off to a cabin in the woods where they are terrorized by undead horrors controlled by "game masters" in some high-tech lair. Ok, if I add "...the game masters are doing this to placate the terrible 'Old Gods,' who demand sacrifice,' does that spoil anything? A little, but not much. There has to be SOME reason. And it's such a woolly premise that it's spoiler-proof. "The kids begin to suspect that things are not as they seem." True enough, the characters don't know what's going on, but you, sitting in the audience, know almost everything from the first scene. "After most of the kids are dispatched by backwoods torture zombies, the survivors breach the 'gaming area,' turning the tables on their tormentors." KIND OF spoilerish, but it's not a big surprise. "You think the Stoner guy is dead, but he's not." That is a spoiler, but it's not fundamentally different than any other spoiler in any other horror movie. "Patrick Stewart makes a surprise cameo." If you didn't see that coming, you're brain dead.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:05 a.m. CST

    justmyluck - sigh. okay. i tried.

    by antonphd

    some of the people here aren't dickheads, justmyluck. i've been here since the last time Titanic was in theaters and it's been because i love movies not because i am a movie snob. i enjoyed Cabin in the Woods. i thought you were just being a dick saying that it was boring, but then i thought that maybe you really just thought it was boring. instead of being a dick to you about it... i thought i would just try to be nice. but, considering the ration of nice people to dicks around here... i can't blame you for assuming that i was just trying to fuck with you. for the record. my favorite geek movie is The Goonies. have a nice weekend.

  • I've seen it twice and both times (in different screens ) the sound seemed to be way more focused on the front speakers than this type of movie should... almost as if it was a 2.1 stereo mix for much of the film - weird.

  • April 15, 2012, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Yet another talkback devolving into nonsense

    by James Stevenson

    antonphd and justmyluck..... chill the FUCK out, fellas. It was a black comedy masquerading as a horror movie, with Joss Whedon semi-thumbing his nose at all fanboys, and giving us a good time at the SAME time. Can't we all just get along...... in the darkened confines of our local multiplexes? I had a damn good time with Cabin In The Woods, which was all I wanted. Enjoy it for what it's worth.

  • April 15, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    this movie was not a horror film, it is a spoof.


    correction, the first 2/3rds is a spoof, the last 3rd is horror satire. it is very explicit in undermining any possible hint of horror with jokey ribbing. ala airplane, blazing saddles. i liked the last 3rd best. here the visuals and chaos make you forget the analysis and you get sucked in the horror. thats where i thought it worked. can't wait to beat down hardcore sheep lovers of this movie with some considered, smart critiques.

  • April 15, 2012, 7:05 a.m. CST



    love how defensive the admirers of this film are like they have no confidence in the movies legacy and anticipate big backlash before hearing it. despite the rotten tomatoes glory. its cos you know there are issues here that others will stick on. okay it didn't ruin the movie for you capone. despite the fact that you admit its a horror movie that isn't scary. yet its somehow still a perfect movie?!? thats fine. but don't harp on folks who are gonna hold this movie to task for its flaws of which there are many. SO FUCK THE BLISSFUL, FORGIVING SUPPORTERS (p.s i liked the movie enough, but reading obnoxious fan shit here makes me want to beat on it more)

  • April 15, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Britain did this better & edgier ten years ago

    by Dolmes

    My Little Eye

  • April 15, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    It's not a game changer, and, in my opinion, here's why-

    by Fortunesfool

    We relate more to the film-makers than the characters. We watch it and think 'Ah yes, I see what you did there Joss and Drew. Very clever'. I can't see the average popcorn muncher coming out of this anything other than slightly confused. Genre buffs, sure, lap it up because it's aimed at us. Scream worked because it was first and foremost a very well made slasher film. We related to the characters, and through them enjoyed the digs at the genre. Even the non genre buff could appreciate the jokes. Cabin, on the other hand, if we removed the central 'gag' and were left with just the 'teens in peril' movie would be awful. It's just not good enough as a horror film. For me, a movie like 'Wolf Creek' was more of a game-changer. After almost a decade of smug, self aware slasher movies which tempered their scares with jokes, Wolf Creek played it straight. It grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you through, spitting you out shaken and disturbed. It was a return to the proper, serious horror movies of the seventies. All Cabin will do is usher in another decade of smug, self aware horror comedies. Which sucks.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    To Japanese Schoolgirls

    by Foolsworld

    FUCK YOU! I don't care where you put your evil demon ghost things, Fuck you.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    my thoughts

    by lecter1914

    Cabin In The Woods. I admire the ambition. It was trying to be a horror film while simultaneously telling the story of why the horror film was happening. Ultimately, you are watching two films and neither one of them manages to go above being interesting. Many geek sites are calling this the Scream of our generation. I disagree. While Scream was parodying horror films it still managed to be a horror film. Cabin In The Woods tries to dissect horror films...but doesn't manage to actually be a horror film. While I appreciated the nods to Hellraiser, Evil Dead, The Grudge, and many other horror never captured what made those films work. However, the concept is brilliant.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Do you guys remember when...

    by Chang-A-Lang could just throw a girl in a volcano?

  • support and praise it would have gained from the critics and fans.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I wonder if this movie didn't have

    by Inglorious Bastard

    Near universal critical acclaim, if there would be just as many contrarian views of the movie.

  • April 15, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST


    by Franck

    Actually, it might have gotten an independant movie feel/marketing, sleeper hit type. Word of mouth would have praised it and it might have done as much or more entries.

  • April 15, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    lol at many of the people trashing this movie.

    by DrBathroomMD

    Seems to me the only reason people dislike it is cause they went into it with preconceived notions of what the film was, and were pissed when it defied expectations. Is it a horror movie? It has horror elements, and it's definitely ABOUT horror. But it's a genre mix-up. Cramming it into a genre automatically makes it prone to criticisms that the movie doesn't really need to answer for. Why categorize it? So you can say it failed on that level? It was perfect in it's entertainment value and did so many original things with fantastic writing that it doesn't really matter that it wasn't scary. It wasn't trying to be. You can take it or leave it, but don't try to tell me it failed cause it wasn't scary. You're missing the point of the movie entirely.

  • April 15, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    by wushumonk

    dude, check out our spoiler filled podcast. I freakin loved this movie. It's true you don't want it spoiled, but if you must...

  • April 15, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST



    it failed largely because it was so in your face about its meta-commentary in the first half that i found it impossible to get involved in what i was seeing on screen. it didn't engage my mind in debate, it basically shouted at me constantly to appreciate that what i was seeing was all for a bigger purpose and is a practical joke. another flaw is that in order to shoehorn some silly horror movie cliches the film makes some pretty confusing and shitty writing leaps in logic that also kept calling attention to itself and distracting me. so we need a character to say "we should split up" cos thats totally a dumb horror cliche.... um how bout we like, er pump some gas in and stuff, then that'll make him say that.... and then they er, just sorta go in each others rooms and get locked in so we can have a scene where they have to escape a second later... that sorta thing happened too often as well.

  • Especially when something fresh comes along and garners praise. Hell, some of you hate The Dark Knight.

  • April 15, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    guy screaming F--- you to the singing Japanese schoolkids = LOL

    by deanmail

    conspiracy film, comedy-horror, slasher flick, apocalyptic reality tv show? difficult to "package" this one and its being marketed wrong, like Unbreakable was advertised as a "supernatural" thriller from the maker of Sixth Sense. Cabin In The Woods is at its best with the dark comedy moments, the guy screaming F--- you to the singing Japanese schoolchildren for defeating the ghosts was the black comedy tone this movie should have stuck to throughout and the comedy should've kept getting darker and darker, the monsters even more dangerous the further we go down towards the control room, then finally ending with the cabin being lifted slowly on the fingernail of an elder gods hand and then cabin exploding as it's "bitch-slapped" into our face!

  • April 15, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon...DID IT BETTER

    by future help

    check that movie out...MUCH better flick...honestly surprised that no one else has mentioned that

  • April 15, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    That is a cool flick. Massively underrated.

    by Kill List Hammertime

  • April 15, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST


    by Josh

    This is every horror fans wet dream come to life, plus and ending you'll never see coming and if you do see it coming then congrats you've prob read spoilers, all I was hoping for was that ending and I was like please let it come please let it come and then it came, and I was smiling so much :)

  • April 15, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Enjoyed but quick SPOILER QUESTION please ...

    by deanmail

    If the sacrificial rule required they choose their own method of death, and they chose the zombie-family - why did The Director not state that rule was over-ridden by them all dying via any means as long as the virgin died last? ... or did system purge negate choice of death?

  • April 15, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Cabin In The Mother-Screwing Woods!!

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much, and I wasn't even stoned! Just went in blind as a god damn bat. I actually pumped my first in the air and shouted "Yes!" at one point. Bonus points for sociopolitical subtextual commentary, too. I never thought I'd say this, but I might actually check out the Avengers now...

  • April 15, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST

    It's Hostel but with "movie gods" instead of Rich A-holes

    by Zurge

    Omg like it's totally ironic and stuff ya know

  • April 15, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    Aside from its meta-storytelling aspects and sociopolitical subtextual elements, I took the 'choose how they die' thing as a way Jenkins and Whitford had found to tell themselves the blood wasn't on their hands, as well as blow off a little steam with the gambling aspect. Seemed to me that, over the years, an optimal system had been worked out, but really only a few basic notes had to get hit in order for chaos to be averted. As with the fact that Dana was not a 'real' virgin but only virginal relative to her friends, Stoney McGee just needed to BE DEAD if his blood had been used in that machine, regardless of the method. As Sigourney said, "We work with what we get."

  • April 15, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Deanmail #2

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Isn't that how it did end, though? Like in the exact way you describe? And, you gotta remember marketers are paid to try and get the people into the theater who haven't already decided to go. While it might be more accurate to market a movie a certain way than the way it winds up getting marketed, there's a little saying about truth in advertising that's escaping me at the moment......

  • April 15, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    I got news for ya, kiddo: Neither are you.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Cabin in the Woods

    by Tank Williams

    Quite possibly the most over-hyped movie of all time. Rank it up there with Attack the Block. Hated both. I know I'm in the minority here but, it was too ordinary to justify the hype. The first hour was an absolute snore. And who the fuck said this was scary? Whatever happened to suspenseful horror... Kubrick would be disappointed

  • April 15, 2012, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Get lives

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Why do I read these boards. People, THIS WAS A GODDAMN *MOVIE*, not a matter of fucking life and death. Wouldn't you rather go have a good time for 90 minutes than sit there feeling superior? Guess not! Well, I'm mentally applauding the last shit you all took. I'll bet the turds themselves were each as unique and special and perfect as all of you are. Time to take yet another break from this place... Hopefully this is the day I finally learn to make it a permanent one.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:16 p.m. CST


    by deanmail

    thanks for answering, I just wished the hand was much bigger. Also how come the ritual didn't include a blackman dying first? lol - the death of the "outsider" is an even bigger stereotype than the the longevity of the virgin.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:16 p.m. CST

    the ritual didn't include a blackman dying first? lol

    by deanmail

    the death of the "outsider" is an even bigger stereotype than the the longevity of the virgin.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    The Truman Show meets Scream

    by seasider

    At least that's what I got out of it. Clever? Yes Brilliant? Not quite. It just comes off a little too pompous and a prime example of imagination overkill (pun intended). And the big bloodbath at the end insults ones intelligence. I mean first of all, why would there be a giant red button at a remote security station allowing any Tom, Dick and Harry to just hit the button and literally unleash hell? Also, it seems odd that these monsters are suddenly unstoppable once they're out of the cages. So how were they able to control them when they set them free in the Cabin woods environment?

  • April 15, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST


    by deanmail

    maybe they gas them, tag them, bless them, put a spell on the monster before releasing them to kill but you make a good point. the system purge button should've been ALOT more secure or be even 1 super crafty monster that releases all the rest, AND there should have been a "ghostbuster crew" on standby. I think 2 or 3 more drafts would've perfected this film. they could have so many extras on the blu-ray, its unreal. A very enjoyable film though, needed a stereotypical black person being sacrificed FIRST and a bigger cloverfield sized bitch-slapping hand LAST.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

  • April 15, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I can't imagine horror fans really disliking this movie

    by D.Vader

    Are there any? Or are they littered with the usual Anti-Whedon brigade rants about how it sucked (but only bc he was involved)? I haven't read the talkbacks yet.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Very creative movie

    by D.Vader

    And I appreciate that.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I'm very glad I didn't get spoiled before seeing this movie

    by D.Vader

    Very surprised too.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Cabin is awesome, just go see it if you haven't, you'll thank me.

    by Tim Tringle

    As for the Road, the truly scary thing about that movie is we are very much just one or two nuked cities away from that story very much being a reality. Imagine if the economy get's even worse, then a couple of nukes go off in a major city. I can very much see things escalating from there into the very scary environment that story/movie takes place in. Monsters aren't something you should be worrying about. Roving bands of cannibal construction workers should be.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Deainmail read this.

    by Tim Tringle

    They did explain, multiple times and if they did it any more plainly you would have whined about how the story was too simplistic. Go watch the three stooges, that's where you should have been this weekend obviously.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Killik, your an ass. If Whedon's name wasn't attached

    by Tim Tringle

    Then the movie wouldn't have been anywhere near as good, and it wouldn't have been made because he was the producer. If you didn't like the movie, just fucking say that. Don't shit on it by asking faux questions like you have half a brain. Cause if you saw that movie and like the types of movies this website is "supposed" to be dedicated to, I say supposed because assholes like you have bled it dry of any real life, then just stop watching movies and get the hell off the talkbacks, K, thanx bye now.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST

    hellsfoxes, no we really don't care what you think...

    by Tim Tringle

    The reason we get so up in arms is because you guys who can't enjoy a movie like Cabin is because your giant douches. That is all.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Justmyluck, stop trying to get your entire post into the subject...

    by Tim Tringle

    You asshole.

  • So far, they're all fairly terrible.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    ttringle...explained what?

    by deanmail

    what are you referring to? if anything has bled this site dry, it's angry name-calling folk like yourself who lash out at everyone instead of engaging in a civilized debate. Breathe deep little fella and realize its just a movie, not a jumping-off point for your lifes frustrations.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Hellsfoxes, I don't think you quite got it

    by D.Vader

    The "We need to split up" bit wasn't just to shoehorn some "dumb horror cliche", and it certainly wasn't a leap in logic. The movie has *established* early on that they have drugs to influence the behavior of the teens to fit into particular stereotypes that will follow a pattern of behavior. So when the Jock shows common sense by saying they need to stick together, they gas him to make the stupid decision instead (to split up) that will result in their deaths. Its not a leap in logic. And its not just to "shoehorn some silly horror movie cliche" either, as you say. The movie in this moment is answering the question "Why do characters always do dumb things in horror movies? Why do they always split up when they should stick together?" And the answer is because they have to, because the Director demands it, that the puppet masters *force* characters to make dumb decisions so that they can then go on to be killed. Its deconstruction.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Behind the Mask didn't do it "better"

    by D.Vader

    Behind the Mask was doing something different.

  • April 16, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    The Science Of Cabin In The Woods...SPOILER

    by deanmail

    The Ancient Ones slept, tired after causing so much destruction and only 1 tribe of a new race called "mankind" were left alive but scattered, they began burying the ancient ones deep in the earth and much later raised massive pyramids, ziggurats and grew huge woodlands to mark the ancient ones graves but each year the tribe were attacked by monsters that sprung out of the heads of the sleeping ancient ones to kill and slaughter. It was not long before each tribe learnt that the monsters always hunted the tribes 5 most popular members and that knowledge was passed on secretly from generation to generation by the tribal leaders as mankind grew and spread across the world. The monsters stopped springing out of the heads of the sleeping ancient ones who also stopped moving in their sleep and causing earthquakes as long as specific sacrifices were made and so it went...until The Cabin In The Woods.

  • April 16, 2012, 12:15 a.m. CST

    aw gawd another corny ass horror movie.

    by Norman Colson

    Let me guess, that black guy dies first right???!!! lol. I called it!

  • April 16, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    It's an amusing comedy with some gore and titties

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    The FU to the girls and husband's buldge were out loud funny, but the rest was just smiles. I didn't realize identifying the sterotype characters was clever deconstruction... but whatever. It was better than a lot of straight comedies (Hangover II for instance), maybe even the majority of them to come out recently. But I just don't think it matches up as horror comedy with like Evil Dead II or comedy horror like Shawn of the Dead. But better than Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. It was more the equivalent of a better "funny" Buffy or Angel episode like the Zeppo with an R rating. That's not a bad thing, just wasn't what I was expecting with the hype.

  • April 16, 2012, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I didn't care for it

    by Binkysguy

    It didn't suck per se...I just did not dig it. People were laughing and I didn't laugh at all. I guess I wasn't in the mood or something. Anyway, a waste of my money.

  • April 16, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night. Nine.

    by The Reef

    Loved it. Thought the ending was a little small (too much focussing on the characters sharing a blunt and not enough focus on the ramifications of the final reveal - or setting up any hope for some eking of redemptive action - but maybe that was the whole point...) Needed as longer, more detailed shot of the lifts (you'll know it when you see it). No complaints here though - a damned fine film all the way through.

  • April 16, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    Its not the identification of stereotype characters that is the clever deconstruction, its the reasoning behind making these characters *into* stereotype characters and the ways in which the puppet-masters influence their behavior that is the clever deconstruction.

  • April 16, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    The trailer/commercials gave the whole schtick away...

    by Mikey Wood I don't have to see it.

  • April 16, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Face palm, Mikeywood

    by D.Vader

    Face palm.

  • I fucking love this film

  • April 16, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    not that it ever really was

    by Gore_monkey

  • April 16, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Waxworks + The Truman Show = TCITW

    by Roman Troy Moronie

    Pretty sure the 'writer' was ... um ... 'inspired' by Waxworks. You know what they say... "Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism."

  • April 16, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Hate the Game not the Playa Bitches!

    by Cliff Notes of Violence

    ......So basically it took all your horror movie stereotypes....the jock....the fool...the virgin....the nerd...the slut...and turned all expectations upside down...with the audience's assumption that the virgin would live...b/c that's what is supposed to happen. The religion that many have turned horror into had it's back turned on by the characters within to renounce the old ways....So the Fist basically the Haters Fist of Condemnation...for going against tradition...Buuuurn! Whedon totally is Marty...

  • April 16, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    too much allergy medication....fucking pollen

    by Cliff Notes of Violence

    *into a religion

  • A Spike lee joint.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    D.vader.... ah, yes that was very clever

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    That puppetmasters (writers) create stereotypes (lazy writing) by gases and drugs (gases and drugs). I really hoped there was more there. Like a prime example would be when the zombies first rose my wife learned over and said "this is a really stupid movie". I was thinking of during the Buffy series I was just about to check out during the dummy episode. Then there was that scene where Buffy first ran into the cliched living dummy and they both scream "DIE DEMON" just as it goes to comercial. I thought that was pretty clever and kinda sold me on the series in basically a throwaway episode. I was hoping for something like that to happen at the moment in Cabin, but instead it was just the crew winning their bet on the monster type.

  • April 16, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Just saw it.

    by elsachmo

    It was pretty good, but doesn't live up to the hype by some reviewers. it's pretty original, but has a ton of plotholes and things that are not even remotely explained that seem to be fairly integral to the overall story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was expecting so much more because of the hype.

  • I'm a little confused by one plot point, the thing with the tunnel cave-in being called off or whatever. Because they said that they were told not to do it by "upstairs", which I assume means The Director. But why would The Director tell them not to blow up the tunnel? Did she want the world to end? It seemed like she wanted the opposite in the last scene. And if it was called off, why did Richard Jenkins have to hot-wire the control console? Did I just miss something? Was this explained clearly in the movie?

  • April 16, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Puf

    The person "upstairs" was the stoner. When he was messing with the wires he caused the tunnel to not cave in at the right time.

  • April 16, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Would it have been better if there was a group attempting to free the Gods

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    You know, so maybe you get a puppetmasters being manipulated thing going? It would go well with all the other countries failing this seemingly easy task of killing five drugged teenagers. I thought they might even go in the direction that they had been tricked into doing the sacrifices all along, but that would have been a lame feel good ending.

  • April 16, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Call me a hater ... I thought this was not really very good

    by emu47

    It had moments, sure. Loved the unicorn and the merman ... but overall it was a self-righteous dig at a genre I love more than the filmmakers seem to. I want a good horror film, not a lecture about the failings of horror films. Also: Fran Kranz is TERRIBLE! I can't believe people enjoy his schtick. My full opinion, with spoilers:

  • April 16, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    @stalkeye ... Cabin in Da Hood? Yes, please.

    by emu47

    Somebody get on it. Could be played like the horror film equivalent of gentrification of the neighborhood, where suddenly this redneck shack shows up on a block, complete with inbred racist serial killers, and it's up to a plucky group of local kids to save the day ... oh wait, that would have to be called Attack the Cabin in Da Hood. Anyway, still ... a movie I would see.

  • April 16, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Overall, I really had a good time.. though I do have some questions...

    by Monroville

    (1) With the whole "tunnel didn't explode because of an order from upstairs", I was thinking it would have been cooler if it wasn't as straight-forward as creating sacrifices for Cthulus, but that maybe this group (among many others around the world) were managing Armageddon, and that the call from "upstairs" was God/Heaven/Interstellar equivalent (hence all the other sacrifices not succeeding - they weren't supposed to "this time"). (2) Is it me, or should both Thor and Stony McFly should have had (a) punctured lungs and/or (b) difficulty moving their arm or body after getting a 4 to 6 inch deep stab wound in the upper to mid torso? How is it that movie wounded never ACT like they are wounded? (3) While I did overall like the movie, and I understand that the 2 remaining characters had to do what they did just to have a non-predictable ending... but they still suck. Hard. Couldn't they have killed the stoner and he smirks and tells Ripley that just because he's a guy doesn't mean he's ever been laid (as ground starts to rumble, as the virgin didn't die last after all)? ... and as far as having a PURGE button in a room right by the elevators (as opposed in the control room, with an insanely complicated method of doing it ala the self-destruct device in ALIEN) that not only releases all monsters, but releasing them INTO THE COMPLEX?!? Well, let's face it: that was essentially the "give the audience what they want" button, so I'm fine with that. In the end, I can respect CABIN IN THE WOODS because it still knows it is a movie that has to provide certain inalieable points of entertainment, which it did. Sure, some things could have been done better, but c'mon guys! You can't tell me the elevator scene wasn't awesome. Then again, this IS Ain't it Cool...

  • April 16, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST


    by deanmail

    1. theme for the movie was good gods are absent, humanity makes do with what we got. 2.the gas is a pain suppressant. 3.your idea for the virgin stoner dying is MUCH better and I wanna see that on the alternative ending dvd extras, because the ending was missing an extra twist before the fist.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    @stalkeye @emu47 ... Cabin in Da Hood

    by deanmail

    is about gigantic ancient "white devils" kept asleep deep beneath a strange abandoned cabin in da hood, as long as a ritual is performed correctly ...Out of 5 trespassers THE TOKEN BLACK MAN MUST DIE FIRST!...the monsters in the cabin struggle to look like they are messing up and AVOID killing the 4 white trespassers, but then the blonde athlete eats a bag of skittles in the basement, which summons the monstrous captain of the neighbourhood watch who shoots one of the innocent white trespassers ACCIDENTALLY (because they were wearing a hoodie) and well....a huge white fist smashes up through cabin in a nazi salute heralding THE END OF THE WORLD!

  • April 17, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    I'm typically 2D if it's avail., but should this be seenin 3D

    by Keblar

    I don't buy 3D if I don't have to, I've still yet to find that it enhances any movie that's already worth a damn on its own, but does 3D do any thing for Cabin?

  • April 17, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Saw it today... Didn't LOVE it, but LIKED the HELL out of it...

    by Pan Demonium

    This movie was not flawless, but all in all, one of the most enjoyable films of the genre I've seen in a while... I'm the kind of Horror fanatic who finds enjoyment in the whole genre, from Murnau's Nosferatu on up to postmodern deconstructions like CABIN IN THE WOODS. I felt like this film was a love letter to Horror movies, as well as a parody of their tropes. CITW is definitely going to be most enjoyed by those familiar with many scary movies... In tone, I would compare it to SCREAM, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, or TRICK'R'TREAT; this movie has a sense of humor & self-awareness, but I feel it has enough of an edge to satisfy the Horror fan's bloodlust... My favorite thing about the metatextual aspect of CITW is the attempt to "connect the dots" of the Horror canon with a line drawn from Lovecraft's Old Ones that connects with all of our favorite Famous Monsters of Filmland... I have a feeling that I will only like CITW more upon successive viewings, but as I see it this movie will make its way into the very canon of classic Horror films that it weaves together into a bloody tapestry...