Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz
Have I Seen it Before: Sure.
Did I Like It: What’s not to like?
I know this assessment could potentially get me in trouble with some circles, but here it goes: Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods is not a horror movie. Now with revered films like Get Out (2017), Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Psycho (1960), the “not horror” pronouncement is meant to de-ghettoize the film and give more high-brow audiences permission to like the movie. Here, it’s just true. Cabin… is a high-concept comedy draping itself with horror trappings.
Unlike other potential candidates for “comedy in horror’s clothing (Scream (1996), Shaun of the Dead (2004), this film drops all pretense at being a true horror film by the time its final act kicks into high gear. In fact, by the film’s climax, it is so jam-packed with references to other films and stories, that it is impossible to be frightened or startled or left uneasy by the film. We’re too much in on the joke by that point.
That is not to level an undue level of criticism against the film, either. The joke is sublimely crafted, but anyone who still insists that it is a horror film at that point is attaching themselves to the trappings of the other section of the films past the point where the film has any interest in it.
And let’s get serious. Six years later, there have not been any grotesquely lame sequels? Or, for that matter, any sequels of any kind? That’s not horror. Prove me wrong.