Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Directed by Drew Goddard

Starring Anna Hutchison Bradley Whitford Chris Hemsworth Fran Kranz Jesse Williams Kristen Connolly Richard Jenkins

2012 may have been the most moribund year for horror since the 1990s with precious few R-rated releases hitting theaters. The most significant release of the year may have been the much ballyhooed "Cabin in the Woods", co-written by "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon, starring Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, and directed by "Lost" series alum Drew Goddard.

Despite all the anticipation, and rave reviews from the festival circuit, "Cabin" ultimately feels like a lesser episode of "Lost". It even comes complete with mysterious figures in a control room, features a strange force field around the remote setting our main characters are trapped in, and revolves around mystery ancient religions.

The film opens like your standard horror film, with a group of college kids (including Hemsworth, who looks a little old to be in college, and a little too Thor-like to be a horror victim) heading to a remote cabin to party. The cabin is straight out of "Evil Dead", complete with a basement, an ancient religious text that apparently can resurrect the dead, and creepy woods. In this story, the evil dead thatís raised are not demon-possessed college kids but rather satanic redneck zombies.

While the horror movie cliches continue to unfold in the woods, in a mysterious control room apparently based underground, a group of Nasa-like employees monitor our charactersí every move, filming every detail and providing a ton of horror movie references about creatures they could have inflicted on our young heroes.

The big reveal about what is really happening certainly challenges the mind, but ultimately doesnít make a whole lot of sense -- a bit like the ending of "Lost". We do get a cameo from the magnificent Sigourney Weaver in the finale.

While this is worth seeing, "Cabin in the Woods" is a bit too clever for its own good and ultimately doesnít live up to the hype. Still, it was good to see at least one significant R-rated horror film that wasn't a mockumentary in theaters in 2012.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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