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5 Movies like The Cabin in the Woods: Horror Meets Comedy

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James WattsIt’s very hard to take a very well defined genre like horror and bring something new to it – often film makers just increase the amount of gore. What ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ did was take all the normal “scary” conventions and add in its own brand of humour which made it a brilliant horror pastiche. Movies like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ are ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Tucker and Dale Vs Evil’ and ‘Zombieland’.
~ James Watts

Taking a Stereotype and Having Fun

‘The Cabin in the Woods’ takes the idea that there is an unspeakable evil in the world and the only hope to save us all rests with five young college students all who fit nicely into the stereotype of ‘jock’, ‘nerd’, ‘slut’, ‘the pure one’ and ‘the innocent one’. They’re so stereotypical that they even make fun of that fact, which makes it such a brilliant horror film – it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

These films like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ serve the same purpose in that they take some old stereotypes and stories that we’ve seen before, turns them on their heads and beats some life into them. Quite literally beaten when it involves zombies.

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‘Shaun of the Dead’ (Edgar Wright, 2004)

Only British humour could breathe some life back into the zombie film, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (post ‘Spaced’ but not quite the stars they are now) trying to survive the apocalypse by hiding out in their local pub – but not before they’ve saved the girl… and Simon Pegg’s mum.

What makes this film so brilliant is that gag after gag keeps on coming but it never feels like an overload. The ending is so quintessentially British; you just can’t help but smile.

Similarity Match: 80%
Both of these films have shocks, scares and laughs in equal measures. They sum up the “comedy horror” niche perfectly, with great storylines full of suspense as well as laugh-out-loud moments.

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‘Tucker and Dale VS Evil’ (Eli Craig, 2010)

This film turns stereotypes on their heads and reminds us that judging a book by its cover isn’t always the best idea. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine might look like in-bred crazed hillbillies intent on murder, but really they just want to have a beer and fix their cabin. When some crazy college kids turn up thinking they’ve kidnapped their friend – well, there is a lot of blood soaked misery as one accident after another kills off the college kids.

It’s a twist on the genre that we have rarely seen done well where the plucky young kids are actually the bad guys and how easy it is to turn on someone. Like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ it plays on this reversal of character stereotypes to bring you roaring belly laugh of a horror.

Similarity Match: 70%
It’s got a lot more graphic humour than ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ which is far more subtle like many works of Joss Whedon – but does that make it worse? Absolutely not!

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‘Zombieland’ (Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

A gun toting cowboy, a plucky college student and two very dangerous sisters armed to the teeth against a bucket load of zombies – Who do you think is going to win?

‘Zombieland’ is probably one of the greatest American zombie pastiches of the last decade where all the heroes are fighting for a noble cause. Finding a Twinkie is of course the best cause. There is a fabulous cameo by Bill Murray too.

Make sure to also have a look at these other great films similar to ‘Zombieland’.

Similarity Match: 65%
‘Zombieland’ and ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ both feature a wide range of characters that all have a strong likeability factor. In both films you will find your favourite character, and be rooting for them the whole way through.

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If You Like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’, You Will Like…

Stereotypes in horror films are a fact of life. There is no escaping this. Some have taken themselves far too seriously while others have just taken the approach of “do we really care”? Here are two movies similar to ‘The Cabin in the Woods’, however they focus more on cheap gags and not-quite-up-to-scratch special effects rather than great storylines and character development than the latter.

‘Slither’ (James Gunn, 2006)

Before James Gunn sank his teeth in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, he made ‘Slither’, where an alien takes over the town turning everyone into a zombie and it’s up to Nathan Fillion as the town sheriff to quite literally “blow this alien up”. 

This film really doesn’t take itself seriously mixing aliens and zombies together; just like ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ you never who is going to be killed off next, or what terrible creature is going to kill them.

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‘The World’s End’ (Edgar Wright, 2013)

The final film in the ‘Cornetto trilogy’ sees Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and co on a pub crawl – only aliens have other plans for them. It’s a complete pastiche of the ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, only instead of trying to stay awake, they’ve just got to stay sober enough to not be turned into a perfect clone with blue blood. Very tricky when you’re on a pub crawl.

This is a fitting end to the trilogy which includes lots of blood, gore, a decent pint and Bill Nighy turning up all over the place. A slice of fried gold.

Both ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ and ‘The World’s End’ feature a group of friends going on an adventure. In the former, they’re off on a Spring break whereas in ‘The World’s End’ it’s a group of men having a school reunion; however there are many similarities between the two groups and their ambitions and hopes for their trip.

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Mind That Axe!

There are of course far more films to add to this list, as who can forget ‘The Evil Dead’ with its chainsaw wielding goodness, as well as even more comic examples such as the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise.

If you’ve got a good one that tears your side open in horror, post it below.

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