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126 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I just think it would've been cooler with a merman."
If you read my Juan of the Dead review, then you probably not only have an idea of how much I love horror films but also how much I thrive for originality and creativity in the genre. Something unique is so hard to come by anymore. It's as if Hollywood is afraid of taking risks. They'd rather remake something well-known to try and capitalize on a well-known name or...
Published on April 12, 2012 by C. Sawin

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good pass time.
I found this to to be a great way to kill a rainy Saturday afternoon. I`ve done enough horror to see some of the jokes,and enjoyed the improbable story line. The price was right thanks to my Prime membership.
Published 15 months ago by J of Roseville


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126 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I just think it would've been cooler with a merman.", April 12, 2012
If you read my Juan of the Dead review, then you probably not only have an idea of how much I love horror films but also how much I thrive for originality and creativity in the genre. Something unique is so hard to come by anymore. It's as if Hollywood is afraid of taking risks. They'd rather remake something well-known to try and capitalize on a well-known name or franchise than go forward with something completely fresh and new because it might bomb. It makes sense on one hand, but for somebody who sees one hundred films a year or more it becomes kind of tiresome. You begin to make the most with what you have in front of you. If only a horror film could come along and be clever, original, pay homage, and offer something new for horror. That's exactly what you get with The Cabin in the Woods.

Curt (Chris Hemsworth) plans on taking his girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchison) and his friends to his cousin's cabin. There's the new recruit to the football team Holden (Jesse Williams), the paranoid stoner Marty (Fran Kranz), and Jules friend Dana (Kristen Connolly) who is kind of on the fence of whether or not she'll enjoy herself on the trip. Everything seems to be progressing in typical horror movie fashion even up to the cellar door slamming open in the middle of their festivities. But something more sinister is going on; something that will put the lives of these five friends on the line.

The Cabin in the Woods is a horror film that is incredibly special. If you're a fan of anything by Joss Whedon and/or Drew Goddard, then you should have a small idea of what you're in for. The entire film can be spoiled in as little as one sentence or even a few words, so don't let anyone spoil it for you. The humor is sharp witted much like most of Whedon's work. The Marty character is especially hilarious. The film is so aware of the horror films it borrows from and pays tribute to and it makes fun of that fact whenever it starts to go down a similar path. It's kind of like the concept of Scream only smarter.

It's when the college students make their way down into the cellar is when things get legendary; a bold word to use perhaps but the film earns it on more than one occasion. That's all you're getting out of me as far as the storyline is concerned. This is one instance of mindblowing that deserves every opportunity to surprise and excite you. The score is just as extravagant as the film, as well. When it first begins, it's subtle and creepy. It's slow rising and a lot like what you'd expect a horror movie score to be. As things pick up though, the score becomes more triumphant and blaring. Everything is so loud and screams to be seen and heard on the best sound and video devices you can get your hands on.

The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II are the films you'll hear this compared to the most, but there were shades of Friday the 13th in there as well. The blood and gore deliver in spades, especially in the final act. You practically feel like buckets of blood have been dumped directly into your lap by the time Trent Reznor is screaming at you during the ending credits. But let's talk about that final act for a moment. You have an idea of where the film is going leading up to that point. The Cabin in the Woods is telling this story from two different angles and you think you have everything figured out. But then that one scene happens. If you've seen the film, you know exactly what I'm talking about; where everything hits the fan. My jaw was on the floor and I had goosebumps all over my body. This is why I go to the movies. This is why I love horror; to experience something like this.

The Cabin in the Woods doesn't reinvent the horror genre, but it does completely manipulate it in a way that is just so freaking spectacular that you won't know what to do with yourself. If this was the last horror movie to ever grace the silver screen I would be completely content with that. The full-length horror movie era can begin with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in 1920 and end with The Cabin in the Woods in 2012, as far as I'm concerned. My brain was turned inside out and I was never so happy to have that sensation after viewing a film. Brilliant, terrifying, and fantastically imaginative, The Cabin in the Woods makes you feel like your brain explodes during its duration and you're left piecing it back together like Humpty Dumpty after the credits. Sensational doesn't even begin to describe how superb this film really is.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reinvention, September 26, 2012
By 
Douglas King (Cincinnati, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
In the world of filmmaking, genres must occasionally be reinvented; otherwise they become predictable and stale. In the late 90's, West Craven reinvigorated the horror genre with "Scream," by combining sly self-awareness and humor with genuine scares. Not since "Scream" has a mainstream film come along and reinvented the horror genre like "The Cabin in the Woods".

The film begins with two opposing and intertwined storylines. One is the oldest cliché in the world - 5 attractive college students decide to head off to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun, sex, and substance abuse. It's a surprise to no one that terror, bloodletting, and death await them. But there's another storyline happening; where a group of corporate drones are watching the youngsters on TV screens, anticipating their actions as if they're producers making a reality show. If that were the case, then the film would hardly be fresh and original. Tying reality TV to horror has been done many times in recent years. So what, exactly, is really going on with the workers watching the kids, and why does their fate alternately amuse, entertain, and terrify them?

To give anything else away would be a crime, because the best thing about this film is its unpredictability. If you think you know what's coming ... you don't. Lots of films and television shows try so hard to shock, titillate, or surprise their audience that the tactics just come across as empty and manipulative, but "The Cabin in the Woods" has genuinely new, fresh ideas that it executes expertly.

I will give one thing away ... the ending of this film offers no possibility for a sequel. So as an added bonus, fans of the film won't have to watch a fresh, original piece of filmmaking turn into a redundant franchise.
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190 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning Horror Movie Cliches Into A Twisty Post-Modern Game: Beware Of Spoilers And Enjoy, July 27, 2012
This review is from: The Cabin In The Woods [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy] (Blu-ray)
With geek god Joss Whedon (creator of TV's Buffy and Firefly among other fan favorites) on board, it's fair to say that the expectations for "The Cabin in the Woods" were quite high for enthusiasts of the horror genre. Here he shares a writing credit with the film's director Drew Goddard and the result is one of the year's more entertaining experiments. I truly think that this is a film that will suffer due to those that are willing to discuss too many of the plot points in advance, so I'll be brief in my actual descriptions. I will say this, though, the less you know about the movie--the more fun you can have. In my opinion, even the advertising campaign and trailers hint at too much. You know from the start that this isn't your typical fright fest. Instead, what is served plays up and skewers every horror movie cliche imaginable. It is both hip and witty, as well as smarter than it has any right to be. It twists movie conventions around in clever new ways and makes something that seems remarkably fresh and different. And if you're a fan of horror movies, this is simply fun, fun, fun.

Of course, we all know the genre of movies that involve a cabin in the woods (or other appropriately desolate place). Let's get a car full of kids, strand them, and then start picking them off in increasingly creative ways. At the start, that's exactly the scenario that "The Cabin in the Woods" sets up. We meet five standard character archetypes for these type of films: the jock (Chris Hemsworth), the stoner (Fran Kranz), the good girl (Kristen Connolly), the vixen (Anna Hutchison) , and the scholar (Jesse Williams). After a brief bit of character introduction, we're off to the woods. As they settle in, each rises to their individual stereotype. First there's drunken revelry, then there's the discovery of a very spooky basement, and then mayhem ensues. What's going on and can anyone survive? If you've seen the trailers, however, (and if not, this is also included as the first scenes in the movie) you know that there is something more complex at work behind the scenes. But that's all you get from me. Let's just say that the film turns into a post-modern game as much as a traditional horror endeavor.

The film really works on several levels. It's funny without being overly precious. It always knowingly involves the audience in its sense of gamesmanship. The fact that we have more information than the characters (but not everything, of course) makes us complicit in an enjoyable voyeuristic experience. And yet, there are plenty of scares and surprises in store. "The Cabin in the Woods" has relatively moderate goals, it just wants to put on a good show. The ending pushes quite far and is deliriously over-the-top. It may not stand up to much intellectual scrutiny, but I didn't care. I was just along for the ride. This may not necessarily be considered among the "best" movies of the year, but it is easily one of the more entertaining ones. And in that way, Whedon and Goddard have honored horror movie fans everywhere. For sheer entertainment, about 4 1/2 stars. KGHarris, 5/12.

Bonus Features Include:
Commentary with writer/director Drew Goddard & writer/producer Joss Whedon
"We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods" Documentary
"The Secret Secret Stash" Featurette with "Marty's Stash" & "Hi, My name is Joss and I'll be your guide"
Wonder-Con appearance with Whedon and Goddard
"An Army of Nightmares: Make-Up & Animatronic Effects" featurette
"Primal Terror: Visual Effects" featurette
"It's Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods" Bonus View Mode (For Blu-ray Only)
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning Horror Movie Cliches Into A Twisty Post-Modern Game: Beware Of Spoilers And Enjoy, May 3, 2012
With geek god Joss Whedon (creator of TV's Buffy and Firefly among other fan favorites) on board, it's fair to say that the expectations for "The Cabin in the Woods" were quite high for enthusiasts of the horror genre. Here he shares a writing credit with the film's director Drew Goddard and the result is one of the year's more entertaining experiments. I truly think that this is a film that will suffer due to those that are willing to discuss too many of the plot points in advance, so I'll be brief in my actual descriptions. I will say this, though, the less you know about the movie--the more fun you can have. In my opinion, even the advertising campaign and trailers hint at too much. You know from the start that this isn't your typical fright fest. Instead, what is served plays up and skewers every horror movie cliche imaginable. It is both hip and witty, as well as smarter than it has any right to be. It twists movie conventions around in clever new ways and makes something that seems remarkably fresh and different. And if you're a fan of horror movies, this is simply fun, fun, fun.

Of course, we all know the genre of movies that involve a cabin in the woods (or other appropriately desolate place). Let's get a car full of kids, strand them, and then start picking them off in increasingly creative ways. At the start, that's exactly the scenario that "The Cabin in the Woods" sets up. We meet five standard character archetypes for these type of films: the jock (Chris Hemsworth), the stoner (Fran Kranz), the good girl (Kristen Connolly), the vixen (Anna Hutchison) , and the scholar (Jesse Williams). After a brief bit of character introduction, we're off to the woods. As they settle in, each rises to their individual stereotype. First there's drunken revelry, then there's the discovery of a very spooky basement, and then mayhem ensues. What's going on and can anyone survive? If you've seen the trailers, however, (and if not, this is also included as the first scenes in the movie) you know that there is something more complex at work behind the scenes. But that's all you get from me. Let's just say that the film turns into a post-modern game as much as a traditional horror endeavor.

The film really works on several levels. It's funny without being overly precious. It always knowingly involves the audience in its sense of gamesmanship. The fact that we have more information than the characters (but not everything, of course) makes us complicit in an enjoyable voyeuristic experience. And yet, there are plenty of scares and surprises in store. "The Cabin in the Woods" has relatively moderate goals, it just wants to put on a good show. The ending pushes quite far and is deliriously over-the-top. It may not stand up to much intellectual scrutiny, but I didn't care. I was just along for the ride. This may not necessarily be considered among the "best" movies of the year, but it is easily one of the more entertaining ones. And in that way, Whedon and Goddard have honored horror movie fans everywhere. For sheer entertainment, about 4 1/2 stars. KGHarris, 5/12.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny funny funny, May 2, 2012
I'm a huge horror buff. Horror and thriller movies are the core of my interests, with the occasional comedy sneaking in there. I went into this movie not knowing much about it; believing it was a straight up horror flick (which was a GENIUS move in advertising this movie). So I settled down in the movie theatre wanting to have a few jumps and starts, but I ended up laughing my ass off the whole time. It's corny, campy in a good way, and just doesn't stop with gag after gag. This movie is hilarious, and I'm glad I went into it blind. I was much much more receptive to the humor by not even expecting it.

A must for quirky, campy fun. I will watch this movie over and over again.
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92 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie, and don't care what anybody says!, September 22, 2012
This review is from: The Cabin In The Woods [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy] (Blu-ray)
I can't believe some people are giving this movie a 1..even 2's. Hello!? This movie was amazing. Probably one of the most original, UNPREDICIBLE movies I've seen in a really long time(And I've seen many). Its funny that people are saying this movie is predictable and boring because there's no way you can guess whats going to happen. Its never been done before. Its funny, gory, and you'll probably jump a few times without this movie being cheesy or stupid. Not too scary, but the unique-ness of this story makes up for it. definately go see it!
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57 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Anti-Horror Horror Movie I've Ever Seen, August 10, 2012
It's not fair to call CABIN IN THE WOODS a horror movie, although it wears the disguise of one. Instead, it's a very smart parody of one, made both to wink at and make fun of the horror movie audiences that have evolved over the years. Don't think it's mean-spirited, either. The film is a helluva a lot of fun, and even though the ending is very obviously thumbing its nose at the audience, it would've completely cheapened the whole movie if it had ended in any other way.

I shouldn't really be talking about the ending. I don't want to give anything away, after all. Although, with this film, talking about nearly any part of it is giving something very important away. Instead, I'll focus on the two elements that the movie poster, the trailer, and even the title provide.

The set-up is common and obvious, in a nothing-up-my-sleeves sort of way. A stoner, jock, nerd (barely qualifies), slut, and virgin (also barely qualifies) go on a weekend trip to a spooky cabin in the woods. This premise is pretty basic, and really the only element that changes is what horror awaits them. At the same time that these young victims are placed in a typical horror movie setting, they are being watched by people who are in a far less typical horror movie setting.

The metaphors for the audience are hard to miss. Viewers of the film are turned into characters within the film, and the end result is a film that gratifies an audience's less unique horror movie needs while also turning the whole thing into a brilliant analysis of itself, an analysis that's hilarious on-screen, but which also stuck with me for days after I'd watched the film. The power of a horror film is to take a specific moment and magnify the mortality of it so that viewers can't help but sympathize; it's about taking one person's fear of death and making it everyone's. This fact is the basis for this film's entire set up as well as its snarky, all-hell-breaks-loose ending.

The point being that you will laugh far more than you will scream or shudder. It might have been possible for them to have made the film as scary as it is fun, but I don't think it was necessary or even advisable. This film's greatest strength is not just in its excellently acted players, its multi-tiered plotting, or its sharp and brisk dialogue. Mostly, it is in its hilariously creative navel-gazing.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, one of the best, December 29, 2012
By 
R. Gawlitta "Coolmoan" (Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA) - See all my reviews
I read some other reviews, and can't believe how so many missed the homage to practically everything that's gone before. Joss Whedon is a master, in my eyes, and I have no end of admiration. Director Drew Goddard took Whedon's script, and with a game cast, presented one of the most original "old" scenarios I've seen in many years. It starts out as a parody of The Evil Dead and The Truman Show, but goes off into the unimaginable mind of Joss Whedon, as only he could dream up. It's not a slasher film, as many reviewers were expecting, but rather a tale of survival and redemption, done with style and loads of humor.

I don't know what else to say without giving things away, but I was highly entertained...and satisfied. All said, it's an homage of all that went before, and a preview of some original material to come (hopefully).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An OK Movie If You Like This Type, January 15, 2013
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I am not a true fan of the horror genre, but this one intrigued me. I suspected from the trailers that it wasn't your usual slice 'em and dice 'em horror flick, so I got it and watched it - twice.

For me, what made the difference was the story. It actually had one. And it was quite ingenious as well. There were a few holes in it, like how did they really get this cabin in the first place, but when a story is good, I can always suspend belief. The entertainment industry as a whole, often forces us to suspend belief in many movies and shows. If I start telling the story here, I will give away too much of the treats this movie dishes out from the beginning. Let me just say, it is horror, so if blood and gore is not your thing, you probably won't like this one. But, if you aren't put off by it, there are juicy rewards at the end of this movie that separates it from the rest of the mindless horror flicks out there.

I recommend this with the caveat that you aren't squeamish and easily frightened. It is that rare horror movie that is actually entertaining, with a good story overall. It won't win awards, but it is surprisingly satisfying for a genre loaded with bad movies. I really liked it. Good cast, smart script, decent acting, and worth paying for if you are in the mood for an hour and a half or so of escapism entertainment. Great popcorn movie with friends! Not for the under 16 crowd, though. Keep the kiddies away from this one. Definitely adult fun here!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, September 24, 2012
I watched this movie twice over the weekend, so that pretty much says how much I liked it. It was very clever - alternately poking fun at the horror genre and paying homage to it in brilliant turns. I absolutely loved the twist (don't want to give anything away) and thought the movie had one of the best climax scenes I had seen in a long time. Just awesome.

I'll agree with the posters who say this is a "thinking person's" movie. You can't just halfway pay attention and expect the plot to be spoon fed to you. Explanations are given, every step of the way, but they zip by, so you have to be on your toes (one of the reasons for my watching it a second time - to catch everything I missed on the first go round). I love movies and books that are layered, with more to be found in each viewing, and this film definitely entertains on a lot of levels.

One of the biggest things I see in the 1-star reviews is people not paying attention and then complaining about the plot not making sense. Again, no spoon feeding here. Or they're complaining it's not a horror movie because of the humor. I'm sorry - guts, gore, zombies, violent deaths - what is it, romantic comedy??

Anyway, don't be swayed by the 1-star OR 5-star reviews. Check it out for yourself.
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The Cabin In The Woods [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy]
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