Starring Kristen Connolly and Chris Hemsworth as part of a group of youths heading for what we assume is certain death during a trip to a cabin in the woods (because isn’t that how these things usually go?), this film has all the elements that you’d expect from classic horror, but an unexpected undertone which cleverly turns the genre completely on its head.
We follow the gang make a doomed road trip into the depths of the woods, spurred on by a creepy ‘harbinger’, and then see teen frolics ensue before they descend to the cellar and all hell breaks loose.
If you’re thinking you’ve been there, done that, bought the blood-stained tee shirt – don’t write Cabin In The Woods off yet. This is an extremely self-aware film that drops hints along the way to help you learn that these characters aren’t quite what you think.
In all honesty, the horror isn’t the best we’ve seen – there’s not a lot of tension being held throughout this, and not even many jump scares to get you on edge. If this had been handled a little bit more expertly, the impact could have been a lot bigger and better.
There’s some genuine good fun along the way too though, with a particular series of scenes outside a set of elevators showing that Goddard is pulling no punches – he’s having a good time, and wants you too as well.
Performance-wise, there’s little to report. Connolly is well placed in the lead role as she is the strongest of the group, but this was maybe a while before we saw Hemsworth really coming into his own as that guy with the hammer.
Overall it’s a fairly entertaining watch, even just for the concept alone, and makes for an interesting study into the horror genre – but won’t blow anyone’s mind. Three stars from us.
Watch the trailer below – although we’d recommend going in blind to feel the full effect of the surprises in store.