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Review: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ humors horror

Courtesy of Lionsgate

“The Cabin in the Woods” is a film about a group of friends that take a trip to one of their family member’s cabin for the weekend. The film is a humorous look on a classic American horror story.

Five friends decide to take a relaxing weekend trip away from college life. They get more than they bargain for once they find a strange scene in the cabin’s cellar at which they are staying. They are then faced with figuring out what or who is behind all the strange happenings taking place around them at the cabin in the woods.

Director and co-writer Drew Goddard is best known for writing the 2008 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the sci-fi alien invasion film shot in docu-drama style. It’s easy to tell the shooting of the film and the storyline are rare in terms of the horror genre.

What sets this film apart from most other horror-thriller films I have seen is the scenes are shared between two different settings and groups of characters. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this is the first film I have seen with such a dynamic.

In terms of characters, there is a nice but cliché balance with the usual horror genre suspects. Kristen Connolly plays the innocent lamb, Chris Hemsworth plays the jock, Anna Hutchison plays the promiscuous type, Fran Kranz is the stoner dude and Jesse Williams plays the brainy guy.

The characters in what I will call the “control room” are fantastic. Richard Jenkins has been in films such as 2011’s “The Rum Diaries,” “Friends with Benefits” and “Hall Pass.” Bradley Whitford, best known for his role in the dramatic television series “The Mentalist,” is also notable. The combination of these two actors makes for some very funny scenes.

There was one scene in the beginning that made me roll my eyes. The reason: I had already seen “The Evil Dead,” which is set in a cabin in the woods and has quite a similar storyline aside from the “control room.”

One thing that I really loved about “The Cabin in the Woods” was how funny it was. There for a while, I was trying to figure out whether I was watching a straight-up comedy or a horror film.

The final scenes in the film were some of my favorites. I was taken by the amount of nightmare-like creatures the writers came up with. There were the usual, run-of-the-mill creatures like vampires and werewolves, but there were also some very interesting new additions like, shall I say, a merman.

At the end of the film I was left in a state of confusion. It was hilarious, but obviously meant to be a horror film.

It left me a bit shocked. I like films that end this way, but I can’t give too much away. The only way to see this film is to go into it blind, and the viewer will be rewarded for it.

I can say that the viewer will be taken on a roller coaster ride of horror and amusement with more twists and turns than an Argentine tango.

Grade: B-

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