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The Cabin in the Woods Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

Basements: still a bad destination. Read full review

4.5

Grae Drake Profile

Amazing happy fun time! Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    72

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Effects work is slick, and Goddard keeps his foot on the accelerator with help from David Julyan's suspense-building score. It's just too bad the movie is never much more than a hollow exercise in self-reflexive cleverness that's not nearly as ingenious as it seems to think.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie's biggest surprise may be that the story we think we know from modern scary cinema - that horror is a fun, cosmic game, not much else - here turns out to be pretty much the whole enchilada.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The initial brilliance of the premise is eventually dulled by illogic, the whole thing proves unmanageable and the filmmakers unmanage their climactic revelation with far more zest than finesse. Still, zest counts for a lot, and resonance carries the day.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are particularly funny in their middle-management roles.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Cabin in the Woods reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Clever but very bloody deconstruction of horror movies.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Cabin in the Woods is a very-self aware, sometimes tongue-in-cheek horror movie (like Scream or Tucker and Dale vs. Evil). It starts out as a typical "carload of teens goes to spend the weekend in the country" scary movie, but then it adds some sinister twists. Throughout the whole thing, you can expect tons of violence, gore, and blood, though it stops short of "torture porn" (a la the Saw and Hostel movies). Language is also very strong (including "f--k," "s--t," and more), as is sexuality -- there's one topless scene, plus heavy sexual banter and behavior. One teen is a regular pot smoker, and other teens -- as well as adults -- drink beer, tequila, and more. Writer Joss Whedon has legions of devoted fans, many of them teens, but The Cabin in the Woods is really too much for any but the most mature teens.

  • Families can talk about what point The Cabin in the Woods is making. Is the message purely cynical and sinister, or does it have anything positive to say? Does it help to have seen a lot of horror movies in order to "get" this one?
  • Could the movie succeed without its extreme violence?
  • Is The Cabin in the Woods scary? Does it succeed as a horror movie, as well as a commentary on other horror movies?
  • Are any of these characters admirable in any way? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The Cabin in the Woods takes a very sinister, cynical view of humanity in general; the best it has to say about people that is that we have a strong will to live.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: None of the main characters can really be considered a role model. One minor character -- a security guard -- questions what's going on, frowns upon it, and refuses to participate. Unfortunately, he doesn't affect the outcome at all.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The Cabin in the Woods starts out like a "normal" horror movie, with zombie attacks, blood, and gore. There's stabbing, sawing, and a kind of "steel jaws"/bear trap weapon on a chain. Viewers see severed heads, spraying blood, throat-stabbing, motorcycle crashing, and falling from heights. There's also gory painting, and terrifying imagery is read aloud from a diary. Then things get even more intense, with dozens of new monsters and dozens of quick images of various attacks -- i.e. suicide, guns and shooting, monsters eating people, and gallons of blood. It stops short of torture, however, and the violence is all intentionally over-the-top.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A teen girl is seen topless and engaging in foreplay with her boyfriend (they're interrupted). Another couple is seen kissing. A teen girl is seen in her panties, and men's naked torsos are shown. Another teen girl pretends to make out with a stuffed wolf during a game of "truth or dare." Heavy sexual innuendo and banter throughout.

  • language false4

    Language: Language is very strong, but not constant. It includes many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "damn," "puss out," "boobies," "ass," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the teens is a heavy, constant pot smoker -- he even has a special bong that collapses to look like a steel coffee mug. Other teens are seen drinking beer. Grown-ups drink beer, tequila, and other alcoholic beverages at a party.

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