Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Reviews: 'Hail, Caesar!' Is the Coens at Their Best First Reviews: 'Hail, Caesar!' Is the Coens at Their Best A.O. Scott and Why It's a Critic's Duty to Be Wrong A.O. Scott and Why It's a Critic's Duty to Be Wrong Film Writers Narrowly Escape Tragedy in Sundance Accident Film Writers Narrowly Escape Tragedy in Sundance Accident Is There More to Louis C.K.'s 'Horace and Pete' Than Its Surprise Release? Is There More to Louis C.K.'s 'Horace and Pete' Than Its Surprise Release? New Classic: Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation' New Classic: Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation' 'Manchester by the Sea,' Indiewire's Sundance Critics Poll Winner, Is Part Tragedy, Part Farce 'Manchester by the Sea,' Indiewire's Sundance Critics Poll Winner, Is Part Tragedy, Part Farce New Classics: Greg Mottola's 'Adventureland' New Classics: Greg Mottola's 'Adventureland' Daily Reads: Why the Disney Vault Needs to Go Away, How the Republican Primaries Have Broken 'SNL,' and More Daily Reads: Why the Disney Vault Needs to Go Away, How the Republican Primaries Have Broken 'SNL,' and More Daily Reads: The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, When TV Drama Cover The Iowa Caucus, and More Daily Reads: The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, When TV Drama Cover The Iowa Caucus, and More The Totally Insane Ending to 'Little Boy' Has Critics Fuming The Totally Insane Ending to 'Little Boy' Has Critics Fuming Daily Reads: The 'Hollywood Blackout' Controversy at the 1996 Academy Awards, Everybody's a Critic and That's How it Should Be, and More Daily Reads: The 'Hollywood Blackout' Controversy at the 1996 Academy Awards, Everybody's a Critic and That's How it Should Be, and More Is 'Horace and Pete' Worth $5? And Who's Asking, Anyway? Is 'Horace and Pete' Worth $5? And Who's Asking, Anyway? Kristen Wiig's 'AbracaDeborah' Is the Non-Existent Sundance Movie Everyone's Talking About Kristen Wiig's 'AbracaDeborah' Is the Non-Existent Sundance Movie Everyone's Talking About Adam Sandler's 'The Ridiculous 6' Is Getting Some of the Year's Most Hilariously Scathing Reviews Adam Sandler's 'The Ridiculous 6' Is Getting Some of the Year's Most Hilariously Scathing Reviews Daily Reads: Separating Bill Cosby From Cliff Huxtable, How Gregory Peck Brought Diversity to the Academy, and More Daily Reads: Separating Bill Cosby From Cliff Huxtable, How Gregory Peck Brought Diversity to the Academy, and More Fear of a Black Dingus: Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Fear of a Black Dingus: Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending IMDb Ranks the Top 25 Movies of the Last 25 Years IMDb Ranks the Top 25 Movies of the Last 25 Years 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Why Rey's Hypercompetence Is a Feature, Not a Bug 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Why Rey's Hypercompetence Is a Feature, Not a Bug New Classic: Armando Iannucci's 'In the Loop' New Classic: Armando Iannucci's 'In the Loop'

SXSW Review Capsule: 'The Cabin in the Woods'

Photo of Steve Greene By Steve Greene | Criticwire March 10, 2012 at 4:15PM

No one would blame you if you chose not to read any further.
1

No one would blame you if you chose not to read any further.

By all indication, the less you know about SXSW festival opener "The Cabin in the Woods," the better. (Having not seen it yet myself, it has taken every atom of my spoiler-avoidance abilities to put this post together while keeping myself pure.) Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by the ascending King of the Universe, Joss Whedon, the tale centers around five kids who go to a cabin. At the risk of incurring the wrath of moviegoers everywhere, that's where this plot synopsis shall stop. 

A still from "The Cabin in the Woods."
A still from "The Cabin in the Woods."

Over at Movieline, Jen Yamato has preemptively redacted 29 key pieces of plot so that any reader might preserve the wonder of plot discovery. (Whedon fans can look forward to using that review as a wacky version of Cult Movie Mad-Libs.) Katey Rich also took painstaking care in her CinemaBlend review to give only as much detail as needed, indicating "the generic title gives way to a complete deconstruction of the horror genre. Believe it or not, it's OK to know that-- that's the premise of the film, not a spoiler." 

Variety's Peter Debruge joined the chorus of critics praising "Cabin" for its spirited inventiveness. "Not since Scream has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect," Debruge explains. "The less auds know going in, the more satisfying the payoff will be for this long-delayed, much-anticipated shocker." And Indiewire's Eric Kohn adds that it "ranks among one of the most wryly self-aware works of American pop culture entertainment in years."

Meanwhile, there are a few people (including an unofficial "Cabin" fan account) who are upset at The Hollywood Reporter, whose less-than-impressed reaction may have given away a few too many of the twists. Proceed with extreme caution, but if you are one of those people who dread mystery (or weren't all that thrilled about seeing it in the first place), you can read THR's review here.

So beware in seeking out information about "The Cabin in the Woods." Undoubtedly, there will be some critics who will find fault with certain elements of how the film unfolds. But perhaps this might be one title to hold off on gauging the critical response until after everyone's had a fair chance to experience the madness for themselves. We'll keep you posted.

Instant Twittervese Reaction:

"You all must go see The Cabin in the Woods. ALL MUST. Consider it a moral imperative." - Matt Fowler, IGN

"Don't watch a trailer, don't read a review by anyone you don't know/trust, but, holy bejabers, see CABIN IN THE WOODS." - James Rocchi, MSN/The Playlist

"CABIN IN THE WOODS just played to rapturous applause and buzzing excitement. They loved it." - Scott Weinberg, FEARnet

"Cabin in the Woods...yawn." - Neil Miller, FilmSchoolRejects

This article is related to: Review Capsules, The Cabin in the Woods


E-Mail Updates