The Cabin in the Woods was being hauled for being a fresh take on the very-well-chewed horror and (teenage) gore genre. It’s clear that that’s how the movie starts off as well, down to the tagline: You think you know the story. Well, even if you didn’t know the story to start with (dumb(, drunk) teenagers make dumb mistakes in horror setting), the movie hits you around the head with it quite often. Too often.
The – quite old looking – “teenagers” fill the known cliches, there is a grumpy, creepy guy on the road to their cabin and there’s a selection of triggers to make the horrors come out. Only this time there are people disappointed that they went with the red neck zombies again because darn how do you ever win a bet on ways to die like this? The cabin is there for a reason, as are the death traps and the monsters. An underground company has control over a lot of nightmare creations that they can use to kill for the satisfaction of the gods living deep underneath the earth’s crust. If they don’t get their rituals, the end of the world will happen.
That’s a semi-original route to take, a nice meta comment about horror and its tropes. So why does the film try so very hard to be an unoriginal horror film? Why is there too much time spent on another gory death instead of the story about the organization, the god (how did they restrain it? How did they set up a deal with it?) or how they even find their victims for the rituals?
A for effort, D for the finished product.
The Cabin in the Woods, Lionsgate 2013