One could easily imagine the plotline for a horror film named Cabin in the Woods.  In this movie, however, traditional horror stereotypes are all broken down, but not for the better.

Cabin in the Woods follows the story of five college students who take a much-needed vacation to a lakeside cabin to escape the stress of their university lives. But, as can be expected, relaxation is the last thing they get.

The cabin is controlled by a secret organization that sacrifices humans in order to appease “the Ancient Ones,” a pantheon of gods who have vowed to destroy the human race if such sacrifices are not performed. To this end, the organization runs secret sacrificial camps across the globe, and the titular cabin in the woods is its last option to satisfy these mysterious subterranean gods.

After a long chase, filled with dramatic music and very gory deaths, only two of the five remain. At the end, the pair finds the control room to the cabin in the woods. There, the truth is revealed, and they realize that the only hope for escape is to release beasts, including mermen, zombies and deranged killers. At this point, the film goes over the top. It seems that every creature from the evil recesses of human imagination is let loose in this underground facility. From there, the blood spilling ensues and an almost-comic suite of deaths follows.

The epic release of nightmarish creatures attempted to play on both humor and fear in order to attract the audience. In doing so, however, it failed to make any point at all. First, the viewer sees men get torn apart limb from limb by a giant snake. Moments later, the audience sees a unicorn gore someone with its horn. Scenes like these fill the film and make the movie one-dimensional.

To further diminish this film’s value, all of the young college students are played by B-list actors. Besides the up-and-coming Chris Hemsworth, who plays one of the college kids, the other actors lack notable talent.

Badly meshing comedy and horror, the film thus fails to live up to all the hype built up and remains nothing more than a nail-biting escape from the outside world.

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