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April 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Horror films rarely find a receptive response from critics — until the time they become classics. By and large, The Cabin in the Woods is no exception. But more than a few critics have something positive to say about it. Rafer Guzmán in Newsday, in fact, advises readers to “put it right at the top” of their moviegoing list. “Although not flawless,” he writes, “The Cabin in the Woods is endlessly inventive and speeds along with a giddy, infectious energy.” Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post comments that the picture “marks a welcome return of cheap thrills and simple bump-in-the-night frights, with some stinging self-critical commentary on the side.” Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News calls it “a wildly entertaining and radical rethinking of horror rules.” Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe and Mail describes it as “one of the more inventive new ideas for a horror film since the mid-nineties’ Scream series,” but, he warns most of the inventiveness is front-loaded and “because the beginning is cleverer than you might expect, the eventual let-down also feels more pronounced. The cast never do evolve beyond their status as horror fodder, and, ultimately, the plot gets too coiled up in its ghoulish entrails.” Likewise Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal concludes that “the initial brilliance of the premise is eventually dulled by illogic, the whole thing proves unmanageable and the filmmakers unmanaged their climactic revelation with far more zest than finesse.” And Manohla Dargis in the New York Times observes, “There is a scholarly, nerdy, completist sensibility at work here that is impressive until it becomes exhausting.” And Rex Reed in the New York Observer, who calls the film a stupid “creepfest,” concedes that it may not have been aimed at the likes of his generation. “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.” Kyle Smith in the New York Post concludes that “the total of genuine wit in the movie is roughly equal to that contained in any six minutes of any ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episode of The Simpsons.”