“Cabin in the Woods” Film Review
Owen Stevens
ostev724@uwsp.edu

The "Cabin in the Woods’" ad campaign played on many of the age-old plot lines of the stale genre that horror has become. One of which was the classic situation of five friends going into the woods for a fun, sex-filled, inebriated, drug-induced weekend, only to find something horrible and terrifying awaiting them. The plot seems straightforward enough, but leave it to writer Joss Whedon ("The Avengers" coming out on May 5), and director Drew Goddard ("Cloverfield") to flip the clichéd story on its ear, creating something truly unique. "Cabin" is a film that cannot really be recommended by its plot or acting. It is a film in which the whole is far larger than the sum of its parts. The whole film experience is the reason for watching "Cabin."

In what is surely one of the most inventive, bizarre films this year or any year for that matter, "Cabin in the Woods" is a trail mix of genres, smashing elements of bloody horror and screwball comedy together with (relatively) sharp dialogue. Finding a balance between zombie rednecks dismembering college coeds and coffee mug bong hits, there is a genuine cinematic achievement within its hour and a half run time. What that achievement is, is tough to say, however. This is exactly what "Cabin" wants: It defies classification as it slyly smiles at the audience, teasing them to figure out what exactly they had just watched or if they even liked it. What is true is that "Cabin in the Woods" is a shot in the arm for moviegoers who are seeking hybrid cinema that is original, harkening back to 1981’s "Evil Dead" or 1996’s "Scream". Love it or hate it, "Cabin" is something new to appear on the cinematic landscape. For that alone, "Cabin in the Woods" warrants a viewing.