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The Cabin in the Woods (Script) – Review

I just finished reading Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods, described by Wheddon himself as “the horror movie to end all horror movies”.

I don’t know to what extent I agree with that statement and basically to what extent I enjoyed the script/movie.

I wasn’t under-whelmed, but I wasn’t over-whelmed either.

The characters are definitely well-written, well introduced (so is the story for that matter), and the dialogue is sharp and witty.

I loved the white-collar characters of Richard Sitterson and Steve Hadley played respectively by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.
Definitely great casting choices.

I highly doubt that IMDb has the correct names associated with the actors. Fran Kranz is most likely not going to play Curt, unless he becomes your stereotypical football player overnight (could still happen though).

It should be noted there are no “twist” to the movie, at least not the way one might think.
This is not The Sixth Sense where at the end you have some epic revelation that changes the scope of the movie and makes you re-evaluate every scene prior.

The only twist here is the genre-twist, and it is pretty straight-forward.
You kind of get what is going on behind the scenes in the first 30 or so pages.

It is therefore not really a spoiler when describing Cabin as The Evil Dead/The Hills Have Eyes meets The Truman Show.

There’s a superior level to that whole “Truman Show” part though which I won’t spoil.

I was actually expecting more regarding said twist/superior level, like a final reveal that changes my whole perception of the story, but that unfortunately didn’t happen.
It looked more like that Neo/Architect scene at the end of The Matrix Reloaded than anything for that matter (without the plot twists).

I don’t really know how to take the end, if I like it or not.
It certainly is reminiscent of other Goddard endings though, so I won’t comment further.

There are also a few open questions and some inconsistencies regarding the rules set-out by the movie/story itself, so that was weird.
Overall, suspension of disbelief is required but no more than for your average Buffy or Angel episode.

Suffice it to say that the movie will definitely be R-Rated as some of the deaths are grueling at best.

Brendon Connelly over at Slash Films says the end is a range of horror movie clichés, but I disagree here as I didn’t see much reference, if at all.
Having a zombie in a movie doesn’t mean it’s a reference to any of those movies. So the same goes for the end of Cabin.
The cabin deaths on the other hand, I can see how they could be considered references (for some at least).

I also disagree with him on how he compares Cabin to Scream, saying that the former tries to be like the latter: pioneer a new line of horror films.
I didn’t get at all that feeling.
If anything, it’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The final product will most likely be a fun 90-minute ride, like Cloverfield was, but there certainly isn’t a revolution of genre here.

2 Comments

  1. Noah Noah

    I don’t think you’re right about Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford playing Sitterson and Hadley respectively. I bet Whitford plays Sitterson and that Jenkins plays the Director at the end.

    The script says “Hadley is blandly handsome, Sitterson bordering on nerdy.” If there’s ever been someone that look bordering on nerdy, it’s Whitford, not Jenkins. And Whitford certainly is blandly handsome.

    Meanwhile the director is “older, distinguished”…sounds like Jenkins to me.

  2. Noah Noah

    I meant Whitford ISN’T blandly handsome.

    Otherwise though, I agree with your comments. The premise was pretty straightforward, though amusing. I don’t know what I’d change though, since the only way to make the ending more surprising is if Sitterson and Hadley weren’t shown so much, and they are the strengths of the movie to me.

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