‘Cabin In The Woods’: The Reviews Are In!

Critics are mostly positive about Joss Whedon's horror-movie send-up.
By Kevin P. Sullivan

Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison in "Cabin in the Woods"
Photo: Lionsgate

The critics have (kinda) spoken about the latest from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, "The Cabin in the Woods." The mysteries of "Cabin" have been some of the most closely guarded secrets at the movies in recent years. If you're seeking out reviews of the buzzed-about horror flick, do so with caution. Not everyone is equally keen to keep their reviews spoiler-free.

The critics are largely positive, overall. There is some concern that the film, a send-up of the horror genre, isn't as scary as the movies it's commenting on.

Here is our spoiler-free roundup of reviews of "The Cabin in the Woods."

The Spoilers "Stop reading this review right now. Go see 'The Cabin in the Woods,' then come back and we can have a conversation about it. Just trust me on this. The less you know going into it, the better." — Christy Lemire, The Associated Press

The Story "Five college friends pile into a camper for a frolicsome vacation. There's the alpha male hunk (Chris Hemsworth), his va-voom girlfriend (Anna Hutchison), the stoner and Shaggy of the group (Fran Kranz), the shy but charismatic brain (Jesse Williams) and the sympathetic, smart and not incidentally pretty hot protagonist (Kristen Connolly). Early on, we're shown that they're being watched very closely, and perhaps controlled, by a massive control room. Their primary handlers are played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The Whedon-verse "Some dialogue will remind audiences of the sassy sarcasm tossed off in the face of monstrous creatures in Whedon's cult TV series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' episodes of which Goddard also co-wrote." — Claudia Puig, USA Today

The Scares "With compulsive effort that is meant to feel like giddy abandon, they have tried to make a horror movie that is frightening, original and knowing, all at the same time. Two out of three is not bad, given the difficulty of the task. A wink can sometimes undermine a scare. Novelty and genre traditionalism often fight to a draw. Too much overt cleverness has a way of spoiling dumb, reliable thrills." — A.O. Scott, New York Times

The Final Word "If 'Scream' was a meta-hack-'em-up, 'Cabin' takes five giant steps back to reveal a wider canvas, gleefully jumbling together every kind of modern horror picture, paranoid-conspiracy thrillers, 'Matrix'-style sci-fi, and a dollop of H. P. Lovecraft. Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing." — David Edelstein, New York

Check out everything we've got on "The Cabin in the Woods."

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