Drew Goddard's giddily brilliant The Cabin in the Woods has a lot on its twisted mind.
Not since "Scream" has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect as The Cabin in the Woods, a sly, self-conscious twist on one of slasher films' ugliest stepchildren: the coed campsite massacre.
A super-entertaining, super-slick love/hate letter to horror with a final 20 minutes that's stunningly bonkers.
Charmingly, like a throwback to the pre-Twitter age, here's a horror film that's been made with no reasonable way to discuss it beforehand.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
Jaime N. Christley
The Cabin in the Woods, regardless of its many genealogical links to prior Whedon creations, is an ideal Hollywood film in the Age of Pixar: spectacle for spectacle's sake, but infiltrated by intelligent commentary and an atmosphere of generosity and inclusion.
Part "Evil Dead," part "The Truman Show," part "Arthur Christmas"... For horror hounds who love a larf, and those of us who always wondered exactly what that dry-ice stuff that rises out of the forest-floor moss is. A fun ride - but not quite a "Scream."
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.
A horror comedy with a structural twist intended to emit an air of being something more, Cabin has an off-putting vibe of cocky self-confidence, a "don't you get it" conviction that it's something special. As with people, it's not a charming quality in a movie.
New York Observer
A creepfest so stupid it makes trashy slash-and-burn epics like "Humans Versus Zombies" and "I Spit on Your Grave" seem like Molière and Proust.