User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 647 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 72 out of 647

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  1. May 31, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The final girl, archetypally speaking, needs to be a virgin, somebody cut from the same cloth as Laurie Strode, the last babysitter standing in John Carpenter's Halloween. Since the 1979 thriller served as the blueprint for the modern horror film, Laurie is long-held by aficionados to be the gold standard, as final girls go. Not for nothing, in The Cabin in the Woods, is one of the characters named Sitterson, a moviemaking hack who works in a federal studio which mass-produces, in essence, snuff films, disguised as escapist fun for the general public. It's a franchise that, on the surface, resembles The Evil Dead movies. Sam Raimi, however, was a maverick, working with a different paradigm; he didn't codify women into virgins and whores, so in a sense, The Cabin in the Woods, set-ups aside, is not really paying homage to the trilogy, because the blood from the ritual killings wouldn't know where to flow, since the functionality of the machine that supplies the hieroglyphs with its gory outline, is predicated on filmic stereotypes(the jock, the brain, etc...). Raimi's characters would be too nondescript for the beast, who needs satiation from stock teenage plasma, a byproduct of reductionist storytelling. The beast has no use for a final man. Bruce Campbell always survives. In the film production-within-the-film, the recycled story, during most of its running time, goes according to plan: the virgin's friends die, leaving Dana alone to kill the redneck zombies. Similar to Laurie's fate at the hands of Michael Myers, a fate interrupted by some last-second heroics performed by Dr. Loomis, who repeatedly shoots the unofficial zombie(Michael won't die), Dana's survival is also dependent on man's preeminence as the sex best-equipped for a violent confrontation, out on the dock by the lake, when the final girl meets her match. Such a chivalrous act runs contrary to the notion that the final girl is, more or less, a man in drag, or in other words, a woman made masculine by default; her femininity imposed upon by a body count, therefore making Dana, supposedly, an equal match for the homicidal maniac. While the final girl, as it is written in her backstory, never experienced penetration, in a sexual sense, ironically, she has no problem doing the penetrating, with an arsenal of weapons, which is the case with Laurie, who uses a knitting needle, a wire hanger, and finally, a knife against her attacker. Dana, on the verge of being choked to death, is left with nothing but her bare hands to fend off the zombie. It's a fight whose one-sidedness serves as a tell-tale sign about her authenticity as final girl material. Arguably, Dana is a bigger whore than Jules, since prior to the road trip, back at the dormitory, the narrative's exposition clearly states that the designated good girl experienced a number of sexual encounters with her college professor. On the other hand, the relationship between Jules and Curt is never clearly delineated as being a consummated one. In the audio commentary for Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis, an ex-cheerleader, admits that she was more like Lynda and Annie than the virginal Laurie. Knowingly, in The Cabin in the Woods, The Director says, "You work with what you have," so like Carpenter's leading lady, Dana is forced to play against type, and gets her hymen back, for the time being, while the cameras roll. But when Marty comes to her rescue, the jig is up, as it pertains to Dana's put-upon innocence, because, as aforementioned, the final girl adopts the masculine role, yet here comes "the fool", doing a woman's work. What the film does is reimagine other horror films as meta-narratives, except in those cases, the characters never discover the truth about the artifice of their world, as Marty does, just like another fool, Truman Burbank in Peter Weir's The Truman Show, a horror film in its own right. As for Halloween, Curtis(like the actress playing Dana), it now seems, was mistakenly chosen to play Laurie. The presumed virgin, in a sequence where she and her girlfriends walk home from school, Laurie reveals her true self, in which both the final girl and Lynda transgress, arriving at the front door of their homes by cutting across their lawns, whereas Annie(trying to be a bad girl like Lynda) stays off the grass, and uses the walkway. Whereas Lynda has sex, Annie is seen only talking about it. When she takes off her blouse, it's because the babysitter spilled butter on it. Michael gets the wrong idea about her. Laurie was impure, because Curtis had sex, just like the real Dana. Curtis should have been the whore(Lynda), the dumb blonde. A smart girl wouldn't throw away her knife away, twice. In Rear Window, Lisa says, "...you'd think we could be a little bit happy the poor woman is alive and well." When Dana escapes the diegesis, unlike Raymond Burr in the Hitchc*ck film, she gets her revenge not on the voyeur, but the film itself. Expand
  2. May 29, 2012
    9
    Cabin was quite enjoyable - not particularly frightening...more like jump-in-your-face startling. It was a well done lampoon of cheesy horror flicks, but with a twist. Worth the $8.
  3. May 26, 2012
    9
    Truly one of the greatest horror films of the past few years. The originality gave new meaning to the future of horror. The humor struck perfectly with a mix that made you feel sick for laughing, yet pleased to be a part. Must see horror of 2012!

    J-ROD
  4. May 24, 2012
    9
    I will never look at a horror movie the same way again. This film blew my mind. It was funny, it had a great story, and it put an amazing twist on a genre that has for too long followed the same ridiculous formula. I cannot recommend this movie enough. My only complaint is the acting by the teenagers was kinda bad (especially Fran Kranz), but Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford were fantastic.
  5. May 22, 2012
    10
    Cabin in the woods was the best movie ever made. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. I guess the very very very end coulda been better but End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. End of story. Expand
  6. May 20, 2012
    8
    This film was an interesting mash up. Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly and Buffy gives his input into the story as well as the director of Cloverfield and countless Lost episodes, Drew Goddard, both make this film worth watching. At first, you are turned on your ear. Is this really a horror movie? I think not. The name of the game is simple: four teens, the woods, killers. Throughout the film you learn a little bit more, and by the end you are like HOLY S***! Needless to say, not the typical horror film. Watch this movie if you want something originally interesting. Also, this movie is not for the faint of heart. The ending sequence is very gory. Almost campy in the gore with blood spraying this way and that. Otherwise, a great film. Expand
  7. May 18, 2012
    9
    cabin in the woods is insane. insane in the way that it understands what i want to see. the third act especially was one of the most satisfying things i have ever seen on screen. if you love fun, you love cabin in the woods.
  8. May 17, 2012
    7
    The Cabin in the Woods works solely on the merit of its humor. It is well written and very funny. People looking for genuine horror will most likely be disappointed, although there are some intense scenes and because the characters are fleshed out and enjoyable you can root for them. Admittedly the ending disappointed me on the first viewing, although on the second I accepted the movie as a comedy and was able to enjoy it fully. All that being said, the movie is not as original as some of its highest praise is suggesting. Feast, a movie from 2006, comes to mind as a horror comedy that identified the cliches in the genre, but succeeded where Cabin in the Woods failed in being funny and qualifying as extreme horror. Still, The Cabin in the Woods is above average and still may be the funniest movie I have seen all year (the banter in the control room between two of the main characters is always gold). You need a sense of humor, and some sense in general when it comes to being genre savvy to enjoy this movie. A must-see for horror fans and horror-comedy fans alike. Expand
  9. May 17, 2012
    9
    An excellent blend of comedy and thriller The Cabin in the Woods has redefined the horror film genre. I have heard many say that this is one of the best horror films in the last 10 years and I believe that they would be mostly right about that. My only critique of that is that the movie is not so much scary as it is clever and well written. As someone who does not really like horror films I was pleasantly surprised by this film. One can definitely see the influence of Joss Whedon in the writing. This will likely be in my Top 10 of the year and is worthy of much praise. "Am I on speaker phone?" Odin's Score: 90/100 Expand
  10. May 17, 2012
    9
    The Cabin in the Woods simply oozes brilliance. It deconstructs almost every aspect of modern day horror tropes with such energetic wit. Despite being a little less frightening than I was hoping for, Goddard and Whedon have crafted such an outrageously fun film. Try not to smile. I dare you.
  11. May 15, 2012
    8
    The most interesting horror movie I've seen in a while - a clever premise that is fed to you in parallel with a seemingly traditional teen slasher flick. Saw it twice in theatres; will be buying the DVD.
  12. May 13, 2012
    6
    People kept telling me Cabin in the Woods teaches an old dog new tricks. In some parts, yes, this movie did have a different approach in the telling of a thriller/horror. And for the most part it was minor details that set this film apart from its competitors. I really liked the way Cabin in the Woods stared out, and some of the opening dialouge was funny. But, how the story got to where the kids are introduced was a little bizarre. The set up, I feel, still felt like a rather common horror movie. It was mostly the lines that connected the big plot points in this movie that felt new. The kids still venture on down to the strange house's spooky basement, but why they go down there is a different sort of push to the plot. The characters were nothing out of the ordinary either, none of them overly alluring. The end gets a little bit messy and kinda sci-fi. And the very last scene felt way too familiar, and I think they were aware of it (which in a way is a pro). But all in all Cabin in the Woods keeps you interested for the majority of the movie, just the last 1/3 of it was a bit average. I know it sounds like I'm being a little harsh on it for still giving it a positive review, but that mostly to counter all the overly positive feedback its getting from it's other critics. I mean, a 90 something percent on Rotten Tomatoes? Come on. Expand
  13. May 6, 2012
    5
    The movie starts out great. Fun elements of hidden story unfold slowly. Gets a little crazy half way through and ends in a blanket of cat ladies full crazy. Watch the first half, then skip to 5 minutes to ending. You don't see this ending too often.
  14. May 5, 2012
    7
    I definitely did not expect to enjoy this film but it did what it set out to do. It was highly enjoyable and I can't give a detailed review because I feel like you have to go in to it with no expectations in order to like it. Be open-minded.
  15. May 5, 2012
    7
    This movie has lots of twists and turns which make it interesting and entertaining to watch. I must admit i was not able to predict the ending, including how crazy it was, which in itself was entertaining. Would have liked a little more explanation as to all the whys and hows i was left with though.
  16. May 4, 2012
    8
    I've never been a fan, as a rule of horror movies, however, the trailer drew me to this one and i'm glad it did, the awful acting we usually get in horror movies wasn't there this time round, in fact, the whole cast were excellent, the special effects were really very good and the humorous, intelligent dialogue (another thing you don't usually get in horrors) was brilliant, loved the film, Chris Hemsworth, although with less to do in this than he does in Thor, was great in it too. Expand
  17. May 3, 2012
    3
    I heard so much buzz about this movie and was utterly disappointed. Yes, the plot was original but so convoluted. I cannot believe this film scored a 72!! If you haven't seen the British comedy/horror film "Severance", watch it instead. Not as original but certainly a much better film.
  18. May 3, 2012
    5
    I fail to see why this film is so well received by critics; sure it's plot is pretty unconventional and it's original, but I couldn't help but feel it was a bit too ridiculous, obviously I won't spoil anything but it's nothing what I expected it to be. This isn't to say it's a bad movie, it's certainly decent by horror standards, but the plot just irritated me. Has a few jumpy moments too, but don't go in expecting a non-stop horror barrage like I did! Expand
  19. May 3, 2012
    10
    Such a horrible mish-mash styles that just drags on and on. None of the elements ever come together. There are bits of so many different movies tossed into the blender that you end of with a pile of goop at the end. The movie starts out promising. The banter is hip and paced quickly to move the story. The characters range from flat to likable. But then the weirdness starts. Once in the woods, the story takes a dive. Actually, it suffers a psychotic break. The smart talk ends and plot self-destruction begins. Expand
  20. Apr 30, 2012
    10
    This could be described as a funny horror movie, but I'm going with a very dark comedy. But it works well either way. Funny, scary, fast and above all - smart! The unexpected turns, sparkling dialog and note-perfect acting make this a joy all the way through. I haven't had this much out-and-out fun at a movie in years. Very highly recommended, and worth seeing on the big screen before DVD, too, just to get all the details. Expand
  21. Apr 29, 2012
    0
    The only recognition this movie will make is the top"worst movies of all time"
    Lions gate should have left it in "liimbo"
    Horror not so much..funny maybe..
    Overall give this one -1 star..
  22. Apr 28, 2012
    9
    A great horror movie, has a few laughs interjected but make no mistake, this is not a parody, it IS a graphic horror movie that has real scares. Very original and beware of spoilers, because the suspense would be ruined, most original horror movie I've seen in years, well acted too.
  23. Apr 28, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. probably the one of the most boring movies i have seen at the cinema apart from paul blart mall cop. i could not wait for it to be over, i gain more enjoyment from watching the trailers of other movies before the showing of this film. Expand
  24. Apr 28, 2012
    0
    I don't understand how this movie received so many good reviews on the internet,coz it's an absolute crap.Whoever was writing the scenario for that film must have been on acid or something.haven't seen such a stupid film for a long time.total waste of money.you can't call it's a horror film coz it's not scary at all.all i could think about while watching this film was 'what a f...is that crap".seriously i feel sorry for all you people who gave this film good reviews.Unless you where on acid as well. Expand
  25. Apr 28, 2012
    2
    I'm not one to bother leaving a review but after watching this film due to the good opinions I felt compelled to leave my review. Firstly this is essentially the Truman show except without a joker and in the woods. The characters irritated me, they were all predictably college. None of them could act either which is a shame. Though it's no surprise with the writers of this film. The story is just ridiculous, not clever at all. Also to the people that claim this isn't funny, I agree. I can't remember laughing once.

    Critics must have got a nice payment for some of these reviews. I imagine this film will surface at around 6 once people calm down about the hype. Save your time.
    Expand
  26. Apr 28, 2012
    8
    I really enjoyed this movie. I'm a big fan of horror movies but i went into this movie not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised by the extent to which they had thought outside the box.
  27. Apr 28, 2012
    7
    Cabin in the Woods is an enjoyable film for horror aficionados and horror virgins alike. Although it fails to be particularly scary it is a great romp through the horror genre. Some aspects of it are lacking. Whilst the stereotyping of the characters is necessary, the dialogue often fails to hit home. What could be laugh out loud quips only raise at most a chuckle and often the dialogue feels like a rush job, tacked onto the end of what is an accomplished story arc. In addition (and I hate to bring up realism in what is so clearly a fictional film) the main characters appear to be superhuman. Everyone knows that some leeway can be given in horror films on this point, but characters appear to receive near mortal wounds and yet three scenes later are completely restored to full health. Perhaps I'm nit picking but it bothered me more than once. I would have given this a higher score but the two points above detracted enough to stop Cabin in the Woods being a tour de force, instead leaving it more a tour de genre. Expand
  28. Apr 28, 2012
    10
    Never has a recent horror film been so purely exhilarating, funny and ultimately entertaining as this. Clever, twisty, and brilliant right from the start to the end. Possibly the best film of 2012 so far, and that's saying something.
  29. Apr 27, 2012
    5
    Although I don't believe we wasted our money or time, or that the movie was a total "piece of crap", I'd suggest as others have that you save your money. The movie had a respectable amount of laughs, originality, worthy acting, and likeable characters, but it just wasn't enough. Maybe it was the sorely missing really scary moments. Anyway, when the film was over my wife asked me if I'd recommend this movie to anyone. Despite the rave reviews this film has garnered, and despite the good points I've pointed out, I did not hesitate to answer, "No". Expand
  30. Apr 26, 2012
    10
    How do you create a movie that is a very good comedy, and a pretty creepy horror? I honestly can't do it, but the people who made this are great at it. Similar to Inception and Pulp Fiction (okay, maybe not so much the latter), this movie is horribly misunderstood by the common person, but to anyone who has a sense of meta-humour, good cinematography, writing, and great plot line this movie shines like lamp in a dark basement (See what I did there, I was implying that horror movies in general aren't that great... I was also referencing the movie). I did think that the end could have been "better" only because I didn't want it to end that way. Anyway, I'm just going to conclude with "That was awesome." Expand
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.