Sound Off: Whedon & Goddard's 'Cabin in the Woods' - Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
April 13, 2012
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? You think you know the story… Delayed for almost three years, this highly anticipated, horror-comedy genre reinvention conceived by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard is finally in theaters. Lionsgate has opened The Cabin in the Woods everywhere, allowing audiences to get a glimpse inside and learn the well-kept secret. Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams and Anna Hutchison star as the five teens. So does it live up to the hype? Best horror this year, or just fun? If you've seen it, leave a comment below with your thoughts on Cabin in the Woods.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!
To fuel my redneck zombie rage on this one, I certainly enjoyed The Cabin in the Woods, it's an immensely entertaining, fresh and original, well-made, very comedic new take on the horror genre. I was impressed with all of the elements, the fun setups and twists. Marty the stoner was my favorite character by the end, because he became the lovable badass hero. And I loved seeing Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford together. My big complaint is that out of all the "possibilities", why did we end up get the most boring, unexciting, unoriginal one. On that whiteboard, there were so many other better, crazier choices, yet for a good half of the story it lost my interest until they finally found the elevator. From there, the rest is history.
What did you think of The Cabin in the Woods? A horror classic in the making, or total bore? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 74 Comments
Were was this guy? Drew Goddard I mean, he is genies, he is unique in directing this project But he was script for next project and not directing another horror move, this is very bad idea, directing is in his blood,we have little horror maker good director, please make another sequel to cabin or make another horror movie Love you
Ehsan Davodi on Apr 13, 2012
He did a great job directing this but his writing is what does it for me. Where was he, you ask? You owe it to yourself to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show). That's where he cut his teeth.
Groov on Apr 14, 2012
I don't see how there can be a sequel since the world ended.. Maybe a parallel in the other cities? That would be interesting.
erin on Apr 17, 2012
I think the fact that they were boring was the joke. They said that they were the most picked monster. Movie was well I cant even explain. Loved it!
Rv37 on Apr 13, 2012
i have to agree with you. The whole point is that it's a twist on generic horror movies.
Daniel Koelsch on Apr 20, 2012
Amazing! I have no actual coherent words.
Lizzie on Apr 13, 2012
I'm not generally a Horror fan. However, this movie was fantastic.I give it an A. I love the plot, and and how you think you know where it's going because you seem to have all the information. Well directed and smartly produced. Definitely one of the better films I've seen thus year.
Mattsride97 on Apr 13, 2012
I just got home from watching it. I've been looking forward to this movie for a while now, I coudn't wait! I have to say that I wanted to love this movie so bad, but I must admit I was really disappointed! I really do not see anything new that Cabin brought to the genre. The stoner was annoying until he found the elevator, I was waiting for him to die first. I do not hate it, I just think it's ok. I think my expectations were too high. Just when I thought it was getting better they threw too much into the mix. The ending was weak.
Crazy Legs on Apr 13, 2012
I feel the same way crazy legs! I expectations were so high for this, It was a big letdown for me...
jah p on Apr 15, 2012
Fran Kranz, stole the movie. I was going in expecting a lot of stereotypical pothead humor from him, and there was, but I thought his character was very funny and more interesting than any of the others. Best scenes were definitely seeing all the baddies in cages and then loose wrecking Hell. I dug the cameo. Overall, a very funny movie that any horror fan can appreciate. Also, if you liked DRAG ME TO HELL, this movie is a lot like that one tonally, at least it was to me.
DAVIDPD on Apr 13, 2012
i LOVED dmth......i hope you're right cause now i'm kinda wanting to see this.
beevis on Apr 14, 2012
DMTH was awesome. I agree with DAVIDPD. Check it out Beevis, I think you'll dig it.
grimjob on Apr 14, 2012
Dont go see this movie hoping for a scary horror movie. Go see it as an action film that should be made into a kickass video game and you wont be disappointed
Jumpmonkeyjump on Apr 13, 2012
The movie had soooo much potential. With the scene of the Japanese girls conquering the evil, I thought for sure this was going to be a movie about "can these group of kids find cooperation and love and compassion" thru this nightmare? But no...seemed like the script was writtten in its entirity on a Friday nite. Yawn.
ForbiddenFantasy on Apr 13, 2012
Rituals have been a part of so many cultures - "big angry Gods" - and there were sacrifices made. So, much of our society has believed in a "puppeteer"; the question is, do we still? Are we actors in a play (with free will)? - certainly our choices have some influence over how we die. The one silly thing about this movie is that the choice they made (the jock picks up sawblade head's toy) is so random and without necessary thought from any of the five; the writers should have made the choice of what to pick up based on some real and complicated dilemma or philosophical problem, and give the "big angry Gods" some credit. He picked up sawblade's toy, so the zombies come out -? Apparently a mer-man would've taken sawblade's role if the other guy had blown the conch-shell in the basement. I hate the feeling of cosmic claustrophobia I get when I consider a puppeteer, no matter how loving he might be, because I'm in this role in this period in history, and there's nothing I can do about it.
P-brennan on Apr 13, 2012
He didn't activate the toy. The tools in the basement all served a purpose of activating one of the horrors, but the one that was activated was the zombie family from the latin words from the book.
Mike P. on Apr 14, 2012
This movie definitely got better when they went down the elevator. Loved the pullback scenes of the different creatures in their cells, and again when they were loose and you could see all the heinous things happening on multiple monitors. Enjoyed this one!
grimjob on Apr 13, 2012
Seen it today I got the premise from the jump and when all of the horrors got loose towards the end I kind of seen that happening I liked it especially the merman scene
Dockerykenneth on Apr 13, 2012
I normally agree with the reviews and opinions of the writers on this website. This movie was honestly one of the worst experiences I've ever had at the theatre. The script was awful, plot ridiculous, and quite honestly it reminded me of a bad Buffy episode. 92 percent approval rate on rotten tomatoes, what a joke. I never thought any movie could be worse than 'Hollow Man' but this movie easily beat it out.
Savinon0706 on Apr 14, 2012
Guest on Apr 14, 2012
Fell for the troll until "bad Buffy episode". No such thing. Only "less awesome Buffy episodes".
Groov on Apr 14, 2012
Ah the internet where people can call other people anything they want.... Why is he a troll for having paid to see the movie and then voicing his opinion? hows that trolling?
Buzzfunk on Apr 14, 2012
So he's an 'Epic troll' because he recognizes an awful movie fueled by manufactured buzz? Filled with forgettable characters? Keep drinking the KoolAid.
BeepBeepRichie on Apr 15, 2012
C'mon, Hollow Man was rad!
grimjob on Apr 14, 2012
THANK YOU!!! Are people being paid to like this movie?? What am I missing?? This movie was HORRIBLE!! There goes 1.5 hours of my life I'll never get back...
guest on Apr 16, 2012
Here's my spoiler-free review of The Cabin in the Woods - http://emptyscreens.com/2012/03/28/review-the-cabin-in-the-woods-2011/
Jamie Neish on Apr 14, 2012
The movie for me started at the elevator which was pretty cool and the rest was a pile off donkey shit.
eye spy on Apr 14, 2012
Mr.savinon07 Hollow man was not perfect but was totally entertaining! Special Effects was super coooooool! Gore and tension was good in sequences. This is not mean for horror genre we need gore and special effect but if them be at the best film was entertaining and tolerable. I think this movie wasn't perfect but are very cool and entertainig too. Especial effects,blood,atmosphere,acting,cinematography,directing was very excellent but only fault is a little script for unreal moment and some losely synopses, in other side film worth watching in theaters with popcorn in your right hand and your girlfriend in left hand!!!!!
Ehsan Davodi on Apr 14, 2012
An example of hype killing a movie for me. I went in expecting the best, and well it wasn't.
Jill on Apr 14, 2012
I feel like no one understood this movie for what it was. It's not a straight up horror movie. It's not an "action movie," by any means. And it's not a straight up comedy. It's a farce on the genre of horror movies in general, wrapped in a comment on society. It's a mockery of itself, and that's what it intends to do. Great movie, tip my hat to Goddard and Whedon. Fully deserving of the praise it's receiving. I think this film will serve as a staple in a transition of where horror movies are going next. It's a perfect sendoff to the horror movies we know and love, and I feel we're ready for something else.
Mike P. on Apr 14, 2012
A lot of fun! Between this and Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, I really hope we're seeing the birth of the comedy slasher genre. Or rebirth, if we trace back to Evil Dead sequels.
seanathan on Apr 14, 2012
i love this movie. i've been going over the details again and again and trying to remember what else they saw in that basement. I think it's a lot like a really long, R-rated Buffy episode in that it is silly and funny but there is this looming ancient evil. I like the decisions they made not to show us certain things... ahem. it made it all the more scary because you have to imagine what could be worse than all those monsters we seen so far. i was a little disappointed with initial monster choice because of the flying things we see in the previews. i went in thinking they were going to be hunted by flying creatures, so i was bummed about that, but not for long! love the puppeteer banter too. so messed up!
pants on Apr 14, 2012
The ending was the best, that's how i wanna die, lighting up a joint with a virgin (i'll settle on whatever they have to work with) saying fuck humanity
HazedMind on Apr 14, 2012
I went into this movie not expecting anything but to see a horror movie on Friday the 13th. Hated the trailers, really didn't get what it was about... but hey, it was Friday the 13th (and seriously my other options were The 3 Scrooges or the 3-week old Hunger Games). I came out with an appreciation for Whedon and Goddard that will make me now follow their films. This movie is made from gory, funny, smart and mysterious elements that just turned into a good experience. I believe that most people expecting to see a horror movie may be a little disappointed because they have to actually think while watching this movie. However, I honestly can't wait to see it again to figure out the clues and jokes I missed the first time around.
N0love on Apr 14, 2012
i loved the movie mainly the mayjor twist at the end that was sweet and the evil unicorn and clown. i could hear people screaming behind me when the clown came on it was funny.
i<3horror on Apr 14, 2012
saw the movie but must have missed the "major (sp.) twist". can you tell me please?
Phealy29 on Apr 16, 2012
Not what I was expecting. My hopes were hight because critics kept insisting on how smart it was. Not at all. It was pretty obvious what was going on from the beginning but I kept hoping I was wrong. It was Midnight Meat Train on a much larger scale and with a heavy dose of satire. What made me enjoy it however was that it crossed the line into obsurdity and slap stick which made it's flaws completely tollerable. It was super indulgent and ridiculous which certainly overcompensated for its unoriginality and made it hella fun.
Drtillinghast02 on Apr 14, 2012
For everyone who is complaining that movie was too obvious should realize that it was made that way on purpose. It was a parody of itself.
Jonathan Eyeless on Apr 15, 2012
This movie was fucking amazing. Joss Whedon is a miracle man. It's like they turned The Running Man into a horror movie. Awesome simply awesome.
Tyban on Apr 14, 2012
Very entertaining and worth the three year wait.
ur_babys_daddy on Apr 14, 2012
LOVE the movie ! What a clever way of making fun of the whole horror genre.
toan on Apr 14, 2012
I Loved It.
Brian Ricci on Apr 14, 2012
I saw this maybe 3 weeks back at an MTV pre-screening at The Palms in Vegas. I met Kristen Connolly so that was probably the coolest part of the experience. As far as the movie though, I loved it! I figured out the sacrificing part almost right away but then was genuinely surprised and excited after they found the elevator. Had no clue what was going to happen next. Being a pothead myself, I found the stoner dude hilarious. I laughed a good amount of the time and was quite thrilled throughout the rest. I'm not usually one to see horror movies in theaters but I will most certainly be dragging a few of my friends out tonight to see it. I'm a little pissed that The Three Stooges is projected to beat The Cabin in the Woods as far as box office goes. That's dumb. I thought it'd be #1 this weekend. I'm not sure what happened...
Kickbusch on Apr 14, 2012
The most interesting monster on the whiteboard for me was the one named 'Kevin'. Its in the bottom left hand section of the board.
Jason on Apr 14, 2012
Not enjoyable whatsoever. I cannot believe how critics are backing this.. one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Completely predictable - I knew it was something about a sacrifice hunger games deal about 20 minutes into the movie. The characters were unlikeable. The plot was stupid. The special effects were dumb. Nobody has good taste.
mk on Apr 14, 2012
wah wah wah
Jbizzy84 on Apr 15, 2012
Cabin had it's highs and lows. Ending was unimpressive. For only being 95min, toward the end it felt like it was dragging. Until the last 15 min the movie was entertaining enough. Not sure why people are saying Fran Kranz stole the show. His character was only good until he stepped onto the RV, which was about 10 seconds after he showed up. The real scene stealers go to Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford who were hysterical throughout the majority of the film. Worth a look, but not good enough to recommend a full price for.
quazimotto on Apr 14, 2012
My favorite movie of the year so far. Really smart and the last 15 minutes or so when every monster imaginable was set loose on everyone and I loved the giant god hand
Jurassic_Max on Apr 14, 2012
so much for spoilers...
JacksonHart on May 13, 2012
Ok. First I want to say I am a big joss whedon fan. I have watched Buffy, angel, serenity, firefly, dr horrible several times. This will be added to the shows I will repeatedly watch. I love horror and love joss whedon. U couldn't have went wrong with this in my eyes. This movie was awesome. I loved the fact that u got to see the bad guys joking around and just doing there job. I loved martys role. I thought he was hillarios. I knew what was going on in the movie but....i and anyone else that follows joss knows that he will kill anyone off no matter how much u love them so it had me on the edge of my seat wondering how it was going to end. The ending was alright but it was the ride i loved.
Virgogirl_97 on Apr 14, 2012
This movie was made for people who actually like movies. Maybe that was your issue. My grandma wouldn't like this movie, because she wouldn't get all the "winks" to other horror movie cliches.
ion677 on Apr 14, 2012
Exactly my opinion, you nailed it. it's almost as if this movie is an inside joke and people arent liking it because they arent understanding what its making fun of, this movie wasnt made to be taken as serious film with flawless character development and story. its just a wacky "what if" and i think its brilliantly witty and i enjoyed every moment of this movie.
Zade_92 on Apr 23, 2012
The whole movie was an allegory on how American Horror Films pretty much feed on the audience watching teenagers die. Without the death, the horror genre would die. WE are the gods in this film. The director at the end has to give us what we want, or by the time the lights go up, nobody will want to watch it again, thus killing the worlds they create. If they ever try to stray away from the formula (the virgin has to be the last one standing), we will be angry and the horror genre would die. It makes fun of comparing Japanese horror films, where sometimes the good guys DO win to American Horror Flicks where we couldn't handle it if nobody died.Richard Jenkins represented us and our attitude..."FUCK YOU!" he yells at the scenario where the little girls defeat the evil.They even explored the whole illusion of free will. They tried to act like they were giving these kids the opportunity to stop...but that, again, is only to give the gods the illusion. We, the audience, pretend that these kids might escape, knowing damn well, they probably wont by the end of the film. However, we need that little bit of hope to fuel our interest in these films. Without hope, there is no suffering. I felt the part when they descend into the underground base was a riff on the Resident Evil series. Two characters, bloodied and with guns ready to kick some butt. Then the voice over the loud speakers gives all the exposition and the scenario began. There was even a big red "purge" button that did nothing but let all the monsters out. Many of us laughed when we saw that. Was anyone else disturbed by the part where they're having the control room celebration with Billy Joel wailing his happy tune while the girl is getting brutally thrown around on the screens behind them? It reminded me Hostel/Torture porn movies where there is a total lack of compassion...and reminded me of why I steer clear of those types of films. I certainly dont want to become like one of them. 🙂 Seriously, I most of the haters just didn't get it or really don't like horror films or haven't seen enough of them to understand the point of the film.
Dan Benge on Apr 14, 2012
Or they didn't enjoy it? Don't get me wrong i loved the movie, but saying shit like the haters don't understand the film? you can understand a film and still not like it, just cause a movies smart dosen't automatically make it fucking amazing, this film is hardly perfect, i can see why people would hate on it
HazedMind on Apr 14, 2012
I didn't say ALL of them. I said many...but I went ahead and edited it just for you.
Dan Benge on Apr 14, 2012
Judging by what other people have previously said here in the comments, I don't think him saying "they didn't understand it" is far off. A lot of people missed the point of this film, and therefore, didn't like it because of that. That's not to say that this movie is for everyone, or that the only reason they wouldn't like it is because they didn't understand it, but it's not far off IF judging by what was said on this particular thread.
Mike P. on Apr 16, 2012
I am right on the same page as Dan. As the ancient ones (us filmgoers who predate the birth of the film) - we are the ones that demand the sacrifice of the whore, the athlete, the bookworm, et al - allowing occasionally for the survival of the virgin or untraditional hero. It's the formula that best produces industry success, regardless of the creative merit of the film. I think the writing for the scenes in and around the cabin were indeed bad - and intentionally so because that's exactly what we've come to expect from our films. And the Hillbilly Zombie Torture Family was a boring choice, expressly because contemporary American horror films seem to repeat what has come before to the point that it becomes banal and unaffecting. Zombies + slasher... ridiculously American choice. Kyoto was featured the most secondarily, as J-horror is arguably the largest international import in terms of domestic reach and success - and the failure of the spirit in that was characteristic of what Japanese audiences expect within the realm of results for that sub-genre. By contrast, the scenes in the base and control room were smart, well-timed and a fantastic reflection of filmmakers as well as viewers as part-time critics. I can see every one of them in the comments above. Hadley (Whitford) as the critic that knows how it *should* have happened (summon the Merman), Sitterson (Jenkins) as the purist pissed at the Japanese outcome, Lin as the reluctant indulgist, Truman as the stoic moral compass and finally The Director as very much just that. They had to hit all the proper points, and manipulate to our will so that their "flim" would be a success. They needed to do this before sunrise (as Dan mentioned). 8 minutes until sunrise was 8 minutes until the credits ended and the lights came up. Everything was incredibly thought out in putting this movie together and I think it's boring, trite and predictable in all the right places because it is a reflection of us and the result of what we've demanded through box office receipts. It succeeds in all the ways that "meta" self-referential franchises like Scream fail. Is it a great horror movie? No, not really. Is it a great homage to horror? Absolutely.
Matt on Apr 17, 2012
Absolutely amazing movie! Blew me away, I'm at a loss for words. Yu mentioned that they chose the zombies out of all the possibilities and that you thought it was boring. Well I thought it was a beautiful homage to evil dead. I laughed when she spoke the Latin and they rose from the earth.
Jonathan on Apr 14, 2012
Movie was good until the end. It'd have been better if she just dropped his ass but Joss has to have some cheeky commentary at the end. Lololol they smoke a joint as the world ends! Could have been great otherwise.
Bryantgjr on Apr 15, 2012
Totally agree with Mike P... Mockery of itself; send off, and being a perfect combination of genres, etc. I enjoyed the hell out of this movie for what it was and how damn well it was executed. Its a lot of fun to watch throughout, especially of course when it culminates into the incredible madness that develops towards the end. Awesome movie, going back to see it again!
Kidel Fastro on Apr 15, 2012
This movie was terrible! Just because you have an orginal idea for a film doesn't mean the idea isn't stupid! Basically IMO, this movie should have been made as 2 seperate movies. I think the whole zombie hillbilly should have been a seperate movie from the guys at the office. The cameo at the end was okay, but instead of it being a human, I wanted a creature cameo instead! THe Merman scene was the best scene of the movie, and the funniest scene was the old guy kept asking about being on speakerphone!lol! that's bout it...for me Tucker and Dale vs Evil was 10 times better than this crap!
jah p on Apr 15, 2012
I agree with the mer man scene, the speakerphone scene, and Tucker and Dale was hilarious!
Crazy Legs on Apr 15, 2012
lol there will ALWAYS be a few idiots that hate a movie just because 93% of people like it. Folks...Go see this movie. It's a departure from just about anything else in this genre. Its funny and has all of the elements most like (horror, comedy, fantasy (not Sci-Fi), action and even a quick boob shot for the fellas). Unless you're a wannabe movie critic with the "guilty before proven innocent" attitude looking to pick apart a film,,,YOU'LL LOVE IT!!! Simple, fun, good-time flick people. Nothing more, nothing less...
NormalGuy on Apr 15, 2012
I really enjoyed this movie. It was such an awkward feeling to be laughing one moment and then cringing and hiding my face in fear the next. And I absolutely love the dialogue. Let's face it, Whedon is a genius with an ensemble cast. And this cast had great chemistry. I would love to see a sequel. I feel like so many options weren't taken. I think it'd be fun to see a sequel with the guy with the saws in his face (Fornicus, Master of Pain I believe is his name) as one of the big bads. There was something amazingly intimate about how he watches her assail the glass in that one scene-- watches her pain. Anyway, I know that the ending doesn't suggest sequel potential but me and my husband both left wanting more of this setting and these characters.
Sara Mikulic on Apr 15, 2012
I was thoroughly surprised with this movie. To sum it all up, this movie is pure FUN. We also went to the 'Living Room' AMC in Phoenix (Biltmore area) for the first time to see this, so the experience was even better. The story was totally unexpected, which is what I liked most about the movie. You think it's about something else going into the film, and the movie takes a totally different turn. And with all that was going on in the film, the storyline made sense. If people didn't like this film, they must have been expecting way too much, or don't have a sense of humor.
John on Apr 15, 2012
Honestly, this movie is pure awesomeness!!! I could not believe the writers had such creativity. The actors, the script, the characters: everything just works so fine. Thanks a lot guys, best movie so far this year!
Christophe on Apr 16, 2012
Everyone in my packed theater was cracking up the whole movie. Imo it was too much of a comedy or "third person perspective" on the actual movie..kind of like Rubber but I still enjoyed it. If you can't smirk at the unicorn scene something is wrong with you.
Kaim on Apr 16, 2012
That unicorn scene had me bursting at the seams haha
Zade_92 on Apr 23, 2012
That was literally my favorite part about the whole movie. I have been waiting so long for an evil unicorn that I almost died when I finally got to see one 🙂 I know, I know, Supernatural had one- briefly- but it just didn't do justice to my vision!
Doris Von Pamplemousse on May 18, 2012
"fresh and original" No, it isn't. Later that same paragraph: "My big complaint is that out of all the 'possibilities', why did we end up get the most boring, unexciting, unoriginal one." See, even you agree. I'll forgive you for being either too young or sheltered to know just how unoriginal this movie is. I liked it a lot better when it was The Evil Dead and Hellraiser, both far superior movies. The Cabin in the Woods was fine and it was entertaining, and I'll watch anything with Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford in it because they're both fun and excellent actors, but breathless, ignorant reviews like this are exactly why blogs aren't taken seriously by so many people. I'll give the filmmakers props for trying, though. It's tough to be original in the horror genre these days.
OP needs to get out more on Apr 20, 2012
I agree about the fresh and original... but exerything in the film was done on purpose...if u didnt realize that....u didnt get the point of the film and u wont like it
Bigdom2786 on Apr 20, 2012
I thought it was pretty funny. Liked the silly mythos and laughed a bit. I don't think Whedon is a genius, but he can write better than most Hollywood douche tools.
Crapola on Apr 20, 2012
Alright, so this movie is amazing in every aspect, that's all you need to know, don;t look at anything like trailers concerning this movie because it will just take away from the experience. Everyone should see this movie
Clocker910 on Apr 21, 2012
Loved it. People complaining about the acting, cliched characters and it being laughable and not "scary" really missed the boat on this one. This has out "meta"ed Scream and perhaps even out witted some audiences. Total blast of a genre bending, head f*cking monster mash. Loved it and I would totally be down for another round from these guys. A+ for me.
Maudeegt on Apr 22, 2012
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.