Review of The Cabin in the Woods

Reviewing The Cabin in the Woods seems pretty redundant, as it’s so recognisably from the Joss Whedon stable that there’s little here you won’t already have an opinion of and you probably already know if you’re going to see it or not. Enjoyed Buffy, Angel and Firefly? You’ll enjoy Cabin. Didn’t enjoy them? There’s nothing here that’s going to change your mind. Also, your opinions are wrong, and you’re grotesquely ugly.

Everything here is as you would expect from a Joss Whedon-written, Drew Goddard-directed film; snarky tone; Whedonesque dialogue; affectionate awareness, and subsequent inversion, of genre tropes; Amy Acker. Cabin is similar in tone to final-season Angel, in which Angel & Co. took up residence in the offices of an evil law firm and where a lot of the comedy came from the horrible and frightening filtered through layers of corporate process and tedium, making things all the more horrible from the casual way people went about genocide; just a job, after all.

Like most Whedon material, Cabin is constantly funny, a little scary in places but never enough to qualify as real horror, never overstays its welcome and would benefit from multiple viewings to spot all the gags. If there’s a criticism, it’s that Fran Kranz’s stoner character is overly broad; laughing at someone stoned might be funny for a few minutes, but stretching it over a full film sends you dangerously close to Judd Apatow’s territory.