Film review: The Cabin in the Woods

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Jen Perry is presently completing her Honours year in German at the University of Western Australia, and was on the student-editing committee for Trove; a multimedia creative arts journal from 2010 to 2011.

The opinions expressed in Trove are those of individual contributors and not those of the editoral committee or the steering committee (as editorial advisers) or UWA.

  Still frmo the film 'Cabin in the Woods'

Review by Jen Perry

Edited by Carol Ryles

Film: The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard
Running time: 95 minutes
Year of release: 2012
Language: English

As a lifelong fan of horror films, I was thrilled for the long-awaited premiere of writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods. While every few years a new film is lauded as a reinvention of the horror genre (a comparison bloggers are all too excited to circulate), the label is usually premature and inaccurately placed.

The success of Whedon and Goddard's film, however, is not with reinvention but with the reappropriation of oftentimes trite and unpolished horror tropes. There is very little in The Cabin in the Woods that hasn’t already been done before and it seems to revel in the subversion of these stale and overused clichés. Combined with some incredibly intelligent screenwriting, these significant changes create a more meaningful and enjoyable film than the genre has seen in years.

As the title suggests, the plot revolves around a group of teenagers who rent a caravan and take a trip to a cabin in the woods. Revealing anything more would be a disservice as part of the joy of watching this film is uncovering the plot as it unfolds. I will say that the story is typical of Whedon’s other works in that it revels in the juxtaposition of normal suburban life against something more insidious.

Overall, the ensemble was expertly cast and similarly acted.  All performances elicited depth and compassion for even the most unappealing of characters.

Unfortunately, because it’s a horror film, The Cabin in the Woods will probably not enjoy a bountiful audience. But I assure you that this film has a larger message to impart than its generic violence and gore. If you consider yourself a fan of good cinema, The Cabin in the Woods is a must see film.