The Cabin in the Woods Reviews

Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
October 6, 2014
The filmmakers are less interested in providing a slow buildup to their frights than in splattering the clichés of the form in funny, spirited ways.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
October 6, 2014
In order to subvert any popular form, entertainment first has to work on its own terms. Goddard and Whedon are too busy geeking out to bother with those requirements.
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Christopher Kelly
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
October 6, 2014
The setup is intriguing but the balance feels off. Goddard and Whedon overplay the winking postmodernism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
January 4, 2013
One of the best movies of 2012 so far, in any genre.
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
January 4, 2013
By the time the ride is over, director Drew Goddard and co-writers Goddard and Joss Whedon will change course three or four times, nodding and winking but never losing momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 13, 2012
And you thought you were just headed for a weekend getaway.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
April 13, 2012
A horror movie embedded in a conspiracy flick embedded in another horror movie-the most inventive cabin-in-the-woods picture since The Evil Dead and the canniest genre deconstruction since Scream.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 13, 2012
The climactic one-two punch of special-effects chaos and meta-movie chin stroking should have the fanboys trembling with delight.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 13, 2012
"The Cabin in the Woods" gets at the story underneath the story, and the reason behind the clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 13, 2012
If it's true that you always kill the thing you love, then horror honchos Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard have taken an ax to slasher cinema in The Cabin in the Woods and chopped it up for kindling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 13, 2012
Everything about "The Cabin in the Woods" is a delicious practical joke...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
April 13, 2012
For all of its many intellectual pleasures, and smart commentary, Cabin in the Woods is a visceral roller coaster of a movie at heart. And like the best thrill rides, when it's over, you just want to get back on and go again.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.2/10
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 13, 2012
Cabin is a meta-horror-comedy mash-up that, at least for two-thirds of its running time, holds together smartly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 13, 2012
Movies that mean to deconstruct movies seem to be made solely by and for cinema vampires, those ghost-faced geeks whose pallor is rarely challenged by exposure to the sun.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 13, 2012
A pulpy, deceivingly insightful send-up of horror movies that elicits just as many knowing chuckles as horrified gasps.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 13, 2012
If you like nutty energy, wacky ideas, crisp dialogue and scary, bloody, gory, grotesque and twisted movies - man, are you going to have a blast this weekend.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
April 12, 2012
You needn't be a fanboy to enjoy the moment when the ride really takes off and the spectacle flowers. A scary imagination will do just fine.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
April 12, 2012
Quite a bit of it is great, and most of it works, and the stuff that clicks is outrageously entertaining and funny, sometimes with surprising depth.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 12, 2012
Though there are plot holes in the elaborately concocted scenarios, The Cabin in the Woods gets points for the twists and turns that come along with its sly wickedness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
April 12, 2012
The filmmakers have a real love for the horror genre and its tropes and archetypes, and while much of what goes on here will have special resonance for fellow buffs, you don't have to be a scholar of spooky movies to appreciate how the story's being told.
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 12, 2012
All the actors do a decent job with whatever is thrown at them -- usually sharp objects.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2012
Zest counts for a lot, and resonance carries the day.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 12, 2012
There is a scholarly, nerdy, completist sensibility at work here that is impressive until it becomes exhausting.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 12, 2012
To say that TheCabin in the Woods isn't your average horror movie is like observing that King Kong isn't your average ape.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 12, 2012
Let's just say that if you like smartly twisted spins on worn-out horror cliches and if you have a strong stomach for flying body parts, put down the newspaper/laptop and go - we'll talk later.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 12, 2012
Mind blown, hair on fire. Seeing "The Cabin in the Woods" set a new personal benchmark for fiendishly creative takes on genre entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 12, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie's gory silliness, but I have the feeling it may be overpraised for infusing a modicum of wit into a genre that usually demonstrates so little.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 12, 2012
Not all of the twists work, but most are self-knowing enough to keep you guessing until its (literally) groundbreaking conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 12, 2012
Whedon and Goddard bake their cake and eat it too.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 12, 2012
It's outrageous but also great fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 12, 2012
This film plays with our expectations of what a horror movie is and tries to upend them, and for the most part succeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
April 12, 2012
Fans of Whedon are fond of repeating the mantra "In Joss we trust" - and with good reason.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
April 12, 2012
Where Scream put a postmodern twist on slasher films, The Cabin In The Woods takes on the whole genre and twists even harder.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 12, 2012
This is not a perfect movie; it's so ragged, it's practically constructed of loose ends. But it's exciting because it ventures so far off the map.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
April 11, 2012
Cabin goes beyond the parody of the Scream franchise into darker, richer territory.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 11, 2012
The movie invigorates the genre, which is a rare and welcome thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 11, 2012
Even when all hell breaks loose, that hell is cushioned by air quotes, with the audience buckled up for benign, heady fun.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
April 11, 2012
"The Cabin in the Woods" is a fantastic poke in the eye of our horror-movie expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
April 10, 2012
It works thrillingly for audiences, especially the pointy-headed kind who have been trained to predict the outcomes of every week's slasher.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 10, 2012
An entire row of what they call "fanboys" at the screening I attended laughed all the way through the movie, although I failed to see anything remotely amusing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
April 10, 2012
It's ... remarkable to see a mainstream movie touch on so many fascinating, powerful ideas without losing sight of its prime directive: to scare the socks off its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 10, 2012
As Goddard and Whedon jump back and forth, the pieces snap into place; then just when you think you've got it all figured out, they throw something else at you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Village Voice
April 10, 2012
More than anything else, Cabin feels like the endgame of so-called fanboy culture in the way in which it is first and foremost about itself, interested only in a fundamental adherence to rules of its own devising and fenced off from the world at large.
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
April 10, 2012
What the movie finally is, then, is a diversion: a reasonably smart and exceptionally well-constructed one. And nothing more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 9, 2012
Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
March 12, 2012
The idea is to set up a movie we've seen a hundred times before, and then to rearrange it into something new and deliriously satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
March 10, 2012
Not since Scream has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect as The Cabin in the Woods.