Critic Reviews

72

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
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.
90
A horror-movie attic sale is, in essence, exactly what Cabin in the Woods is, an attempt to exorcise the genre of its formulaic possession by stuffing the movie full of its most overused and predictable elements - and then dumping them through clever skewering.
90
Cabin in the Woods does what "Scream" only halfway managed, which was to find something new by looking back at the familiar - and at least in Whedon's world, the geeky ones are never first on the chopping block.
88
Cabin is a deliciously devious scare dance that keeps changing the steps until you lose your shit and fall helplessly into its demonic traps.
88
It showcases one of Whedon's greatest strengths: his ability to take previously disrespected genres - in this case the slasher film - and turn them inside-out and upside-down and every which way but loose.
88
The film's main virtue, a large virtue indeed, is that it does not give anything away before its shockingly apt time.
80
Not all of the twists work, but most are self-knowing enough to keep you guessing until its (literally) groundbreaking conclusion.
75
Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are particularly funny in their middle-management roles.
70
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.
67
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.
50
The laughs come easily, the screams not so much. It's as if the filmmakers got so wrapped up in the satire they forgot to include the intense sensation of rising dread that creates all the thrills and chills that are part of the attraction.
50
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.

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