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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

There are those superlatives that are bandied around all too easily. 'Genius' is one. There are relatively few recognised geniuses, after all, but you would never know it, given how often some footballer who had trouble passing a single GCSE may quite easily get the moniker from simply passing a ball to a team-mate. That same player could turn the course of a match, he could change the game, by doing something so simple. He could be a 'gamechanger'.



And so labelled was 'The Cabin In The Woods.' Responsible, if you believed the hype and the critical praise, for re-defining what horror movies should be, pointing an accusing finger at the rest of the film-making industry, confidently polishing its own brilliance. An event so inspiring, so original and unique, that it surely must have dawned upon anybody who witnessed it, that this is the way it must be done from now on.


And on first reflection, who would be the first to say anything else? Directed by Drew Goddard and written by Joss Whedon? With a pedigree like few others in the genre, back catalogues including Buffy and Lost, you would expect good (if not great) things from such a pairing. Even before you actually got to see it.


The film suffers from at least one major handicap. In the pomp and circumstance of its arrival, great things were promised, and as such, expected. Unless it was going to deliver on its lofty promises, this was always going to be a little disappointing. For those with shorter memories than this reviewer, it could be said the this movie is original or 'a new way of thinking about horror', but even as the compliment is uttered, I am reminded of 'My Little Eye' of 2002, directed by Marc Evans and written by David Hilton. The storylines are too similar to allow this effort to be classed as either unique or the aforementioned gamechanger that the marketing department would have you believe.


Sure, My Little Eye may not have gone to the lengths and direction that The Cabin In The Woods ended up at, but this effort is not radically different enough to live up to its claims of greatness. If anything, it disappoints more than usual. This is a decent horror yarn, derided by its claims of originality. Give me a poorer film with credible claims to uniqueness anyday. I would rather watch a good idea poorly presented than a sow's ear dressed up as yesterday's silk purse. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Marc Evans and David Hilton should be rather pleased with themselves right about now, knowing they got there first.

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