Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Apr 12, 2012
    100
    By the time the ride is over, director Drew Goddard and co-writers Goddard and Joss Whedon will change course three or four times, nodding and winking but never losing momentum.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 13, 2012
    38
    I've seen a lot of rip-offs of "The Truman Show" and a lot of rip-offs of "Scream." I guess I have to give credit to The Cabin in the Woods for ripping off both at once.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 12, 2012
    60
    However smart and sophisticated this film is, it may disappoint those who, in their hearts, would still like to be genuinely scared.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 11, 2012
    75
    This is not a perfect movie; it's so ragged, it's practically constructed of loose ends. But it's exciting because it ventures so far off the map.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Apr 16, 2012
    90
    A horror-movie attic sale is, in essence, exactly what Cabin in the Woods is, an attempt to exorcise the genre of its formulaic possession by stuffing the movie full of its most overused and predictable elements - and then dumping them through clever skewering.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 12, 2012
    75
    A pulpy, deceivingly insightful send-up of horror movies that elicits just as many knowing chuckles as horrified gasps.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 12, 2012
    70
    The initial brilliance of the premise is eventually dulled by illogic, the whole thing proves unmanageable and the filmmakers unmanage their climactic revelation with far more zest than finesse. Still, zest counts for a lot, and resonance carries the day.
  8. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 12, 2012
    50
    The laughs come easily, the screams not so much. It's as if the filmmakers got so wrapped up in the satire they forgot to include the intense sensation of rising dread that creates all the thrills and chills that are part of the attraction.
  9. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 12, 2012
    50
    Novelty and genre traditionalism often fight to a draw. Too much overt cleverness has a way of spoiling dumb, reliable thrills. And despite the evident ingenuity and strenuous labor that went into it, The Cabin in the Woods does not quite work.
  10. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Apr 11, 2012
    91
    It's an exercise in metafiction that, while providing grisly fun, never distances viewers. And it's entertaining, while asking the same question of viewers and characters alike: Why come to a place you knew all along was going to be so dark and dangerous?
  11. 70
    Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
  12. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 10, 2012
    50
    Effects work is slick, and Goddard keeps his foot on the accelerator with help from David Julyan's suspense-building score. It's just too bad the movie is never much more than a hollow exercise in self-reflexive cleverness that's not nearly as ingenious as it seems to think.
  13. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Apr 14, 2012
    80
    Because the first narrative is so crushingly generic (which turns out to be the point), most of the amusement derives from trying to figure out what the second one is all about. I'm not sure I ever did, but the climactic one-two punch of special-effects chaos and meta-movie chin stroking should have the fanboys trembling with delight.
  14. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 12, 2012
    70
    It's often funny and smart, but seldom deeply involving, and practically never scary.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Apr 12, 2012
    75
    Cabin is a meta-horror-comedy mash-up that, at least for two-thirds of its running time, holds together smartly.
  16. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 12, 2012
    80
    I'm recommending that you rush out and see it, but not altogether because I think it's so totally great and completely works. Quite a bit of it is great, and most of it works, and the stuff that clicks is outrageously entertaining and funny, sometimes with surprising depth. But I also want you to see it so we can argue about what works and what doesn't.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 12, 2012
    75
    Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are particularly funny in their middle-management roles.
  18. Reviewed by: Kevin C. Johnson
    Apr 12, 2012
    75
    Moviegoers looking for a thrill should go into The Cabin in the Woods knowing as little as possible about the film.
  19. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Apr 12, 2012
    83
    It's a film full of clever moments that may at first seem cheeky but come to feel inspired, with a third act (which only a churl would describe) that rises to a dizzyingly heightened level of metaphysics and mayhem.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 12, 2012
    88
    Cabin is a deliciously devious scare dance that keeps changing the steps until you lose your shit and fall helplessly into its demonic traps.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 12, 2012
    75
    The movie balances nicely on the edge of meta-horror, with characters breaking free of their assigned roles (in more ways than one) and monkey-wrenching the very urban legend they're dying to get out of.
  22. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Apr 12, 2012
    90
    Cabin in the Woods does what "Scream" only halfway managed, which was to find something new by looking back at the familiar - and at least in Whedon's world, the geeky ones are never first on the chopping block.
  23. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 12, 2012
    88
    The film's main virtue, a large virtue indeed, is that it does not give anything away before its shockingly apt time.
  24. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Apr 12, 2012
    80
    At the very least, it's awfully entertaining and for "Buffy" fans, reason to put down the boxed sets and run off to the cinema.
  25. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 12, 2012
    80
    Not all of the twists work, but most are self-knowing enough to keep you guessing until its (literally) groundbreaking conclusion.
  26. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Apr 12, 2012
    88
    It showcases one of Whedon's greatest strengths: his ability to take previously disrespected genres - in this case the slasher film - and turn them inside-out and upside-down and every which way but loose.
  27. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 12, 2012
    63
    The Cabin in the Woods is pure mechanics, as if the shadowy Dharma Initiative of "Lost" switched agents and found itself at the center of a brain-bending ensemble drama.
  28. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 11, 2012
    89
    The horror-movie clichés form the backbone from which the film's humor and creativity emerge. This Cabin may not be the Parthenon, but it's definitely a place to worship the gods of horror.
  29. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 11, 2012
    75
    The devilishly clever script tries a lot of things. Not all of them work, but it's hard not to admire Whedon and Goddard for the attempts. This is definitely not your standard kids-get-slaughtered-by-zombies motion picture.
  30. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Apr 11, 2012
    67
    The movie's biggest surprise may be that the story we think we know from modern scary cinema - that horror is a fun, cosmic game, not much else - here turns out to be pretty much the whole enchilada.
  31. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 11, 2012
    90
    The Cabin in the Woods is a fantastic poke in the eye of our horror-movie expectations.
  32. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 11, 2012
    100
    The Cabin in the Woods isn't merely another "Scream" exercise in self-awareness, or a "Scary Movie" spoof of the same. It's a wickedly smart hybrid mutation, biting the severed hand feeding the genre.
  33. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 10, 2012
    25
    A creepfest so stupid it makes trashy slash-and-burn epics like "Humans Versus Zombies" and "I Spit on Your Grave" seem like Molière and Proust.
  34. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 10, 2012
    50
    A horror comedy with a structural twist intended to emit an air of being something more, Cabin has an off-putting vibe of cocky self-confidence, a "don't you get it" conviction that it's something special. As with people, it's not a charming quality in a movie.
  35. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 10, 2012
    80
    Charmingly, like a throwback to the pre-Twitter age, here's a horror film that's been made with no reasonable way to discuss it beforehand.
  36. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    Apr 9, 2012
    80
    A super-entertaining, super-slick love/hate letter to horror with a final 20 minutes that's stunningly bonkers.
  37. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Apr 8, 2012
    60
    Part "Evil Dead," part "The Truman Show," part "Arthur Christmas"... For horror hounds who love a larf, and those of us who always wondered exactly what that dry-ice stuff that rises out of the forest-floor moss is. A fun ride - but not quite a "Scream."
  38. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Apr 8, 2012
    63
    The Cabin in the Woods, regardless of its many genealogical links to prior Whedon creations, is an ideal Hollywood film in the Age of Pixar: spectacle for spectacle's sake, but infiltrated by intelligent commentary and an atmosphere of generosity and inclusion.
  39. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 10, 2012
    90
    Not since "Scream" has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect as The Cabin in the Woods, a sly, self-conscious twist on one of slasher films' ugliest stepchildren: the coed campsite massacre.
  40. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Mar 10, 2012
    90
    Drew Goddard's giddily brilliant The Cabin in the Woods has a lot on its twisted mind.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 607 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 204
  1. Apr 23, 2012
    10
    This movie was the definition of mind-blowing. It was absolutely fantastic. It's impossible to describe the film without giving anything away, thats why the synopsis is so short. I work at a movie theater and just the other day, a group of three guys went to go see this movie and left 10 minutes into it and said it was the dumbest movie ever made and it was a waste of money and time. Im sorry but if you are like these 3 men then you are a hypocrite and you are just plain stupid. Everybody and i mean everybody complains or at least acknowledges the fact that all horror movies are made the same nowadays. The Cabin in the Woods has listened to everybody and has turned the tides. This film is pure genius. It changes it up and shows you behind the scenes of every cheesy cliche horror film ever made, and it does it very well. It explains everything we've ever seen in a horror film, including the fact as to why you always have the athlete, the whore, the scholar, the fool, and the "virgin" as they say, but otherwise known as the good girl. It will have you on the edge of your seat, it will make you laugh your head off, and most of all, it will make your jaw drop. I loved this film and i believe everybody else will and has too, unless you are a hypocrite like those 3 guys. 10/10...perfection Full Review »
  2. Apr 15, 2012
    10
    This movie is a love letter to horror movie fans as well as being one of the darkest comedies I have ever seen. The title of this movie makes it sound like the most generic horror movie, but I can guarantee this movie goes places you never thought a horror movie could go. If you like horror movies and can stomach the gore, this movie is a must. Don't watch the trailers, don't read about that plot, just go see this movie. Full Review »
  3. Apr 13, 2012
    9
    Well, not much can be said about this film without actually giving the goodies away, so it is best to keep it minimalistic. This film is awesome. It is insane. It plays on cliché and it plays on it well. There is plenty of blood and gore to go along with all the conversational interludes. There are also some unexpected laughs. This movie flows in a direction that I did not expect at all. Plainly, the previews really only do scratch the surface of whatâ Full Review »