Cabin in the Woods (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Cabin in the Woods 4K ReviewThe Cabin in the Woods is one of those films that proves you should never judge any book by its cover or so to speak.  This is one of those stories for me that’s so much deeper than what appears on the surface.  What’s on the surface you ask?  Well in regards to this movie I see it as your everyday cliche horror/slasher film that we all grew up on the 80’s complete with jocks, sexy chicks and good ole Rated-R gore.  However under the surface it’s so much more.  In fact by the flick’s fiery ending its flipped completely over and insane as can be (in a very good way).  I can go on and on about how much I adore this 2012 gem, but rest assured we’ll cover all that down below.  For the time being I am just stoked that The Cabin in the Woods is getting the red carpet treatment on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray this September 5th.  However, before we get into the UHD Disc’s vitals let’s chat about why this little horror story is so damn scrumptious.

Cabin in the Woods


Here’s finally a Lionsgate catalog release that I’m truly excited for on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format!  Now where’s that Under the Skin 4K release?  LOL.  Come on Lionsgate!  I digress.  If you have never seen The Cabin in the Woods before, than you’re in for one hell of a thrill ride.  Virgins get to discover the truth behind The Cabin in the Woods when it arrives for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) September 5th.  Better yet it features an all-star cast including the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison and Fran Kranz.  It’s co-written by the man behind The Avengers, producer Joss Whedon, and our director here, Drew Goddard (Cloverfield).  The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin.  There they fall victim to zombies and so much more, which all lurk so to speak from behind-the-scenes.

There’s a lot of history to this one.  Word is that Goddard and Whedon wrote the screenplay in a mere three days.  I have a hard time believing that, but it is on Wikipedia.  So there’s your proof.  Wikipedia never prints lies.  Ha ha.  Furthermore this $30 million dollar feature was originally slated for release in 2010 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists, but was unfortunately shelved for a couple years.  Lionsgate was the savior when they acquired the distribution rights.  The film eventually made its premiere in 2012 at Austin’s SXSW film festival (as originally reviewed here on our site by a guy that I have no idea what happened to).   A few months later The Cabin in the Woods was released theatrically, I fell in love with it and rest as they call it is history.

Warning: It’s nearly impossible to discuss The Cabin in the Woods in a positive light without spilling some spoilers.  Those who haven’t seen the film should skip down to the A/V technical details of the review below.  You’ve been warned!

Our movie begins with a diverse, but cliche group of five college friends who steal away for a weekend of fun, debauchery and shenanigans in an isolated cabin “in the woods.”  One thing leads to another in typical cliche horror fashion and the friends are attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in what the film’s synopsis describes as a night of endless terror and bloodshed.  So far this sounds very familiar, right?  It absolutely does, but just wait for it.  What I neglected to tell you about was the group of technicians viewing and scrutinizing the five friends’ every move via video.  I also didn’t tell you either that these technicians control pretty much everything too including which monsters show up.  Rest assured there’s a reason for all of this and also a catastrophic consequence for planet Earth should the technicians be unsuccessful in eliminating the five friends.  Say what?  Yes, you heard that right!

In a nutshell Cabin in the Woods turns the world of a typical, cliche slasher film head over heels.  I say that because of the film’s wild ending where all the rules of the genre are basically dispensed and it’s just all out, pure lunacy.  It’s also not an ending you would have ever saw coming either.  Everything about this film just revitalizes the horror genre and I never really seen anything like it before or since.  How they wrote this in three days is beyond my comprehension.

Cabin in the Woods


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Cabin in the Woods, which also features Dolby Vision.  I suppose the latter is a nice touch giving 4K UHD Blu-ray fans just another reason as to why they should pick this one up on September 5th.  I will make a comparison or two against the included Blu-ray, but it’s the same one you already have since 2012.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: I had to go back and revisit the Blu-ray presentation of this film because it has been a while and I could not remember what it looked like on the 1080p format.  So yes I can confirm this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation is a minor uptick in detail from it’s 1080p older brother.  Detail is prominent in skin such as freckles, stubble and acne scars and in textures like wood, clothing, rocks, animal fur and even chipping paint flakes.  However, the most important takeaway in all of this is Cabin in the Woods is NOT an ultra sharp presentation, but instead its a bit softer than most.  The thin veneer like presence of grain gives it a very cinematic look.  I like that.  Zoom in though and like I already mentioned fine detail is prominent and finely on display in all the close-ups.  Even the CGI elements such as monsters and effects look great in this 4K presentation.
  • Depth: The onscreen characters all exhibit a sense of three-dimensionality to them all giving them deep separation from their backgrounds.  Other scenes like the halls in the underground facility, city streets and even long country roads full of endless pines all seem to go on forever.  Needless to say you’re in good hands here.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are insane here.  I say insane because of how deep and inky they are.  This is a very dark movie at times and faces/things are intentionally lost in the dark here.  You want to be surprised by a zombie coming from out of nowhere right?  Of course you do!  However, thanks in part to the HDR you can see more in the shadows than its Blu-ray brother.
  • Color Reproduction: When we’re not completely in the dark the color palette here is quite healthy with a hefty sense of richness and boldness to it all.  Red hair pops as does blonde.  Furthermore, this one is exquisitely lit so expect things to really stand out and look great here not to mention all that crimson red blood too.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and accurate throughout the 4K presentation.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I did notice two lightning quick little white specks, but beyond that all you have is bliss throughout with a thin layer grain giving you that warm, cinematic satisfying experience.  You gotta love it!

Cabin in the Woods


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Lionsgate’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Cabin in the Woods.  While the 4K Ultra HD presentation comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track the 1080p Blu-ray Disc comes equipped with the previously released  7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio one.  It’s nice how they bumped up the audio for this release, huh?  In my best Borat voice, “Very nice!”

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish (FYI for some reason the English subtitles came on automatically when I hit play. I was able to remove them though the pop up menu.)
  • Dynamics: Here’s thing thing about this Atmos track.  Until things really start to go bump in the middle of the night and bat crazy insane this one’s a rather quiet one with a few cliche jump scares here or there (even the main title pops at you) to tease you of events yet to come.  The dynamics of the track are very quiet, docile and placid, but holy hell when this track engages it will knock pictures off your wall if you’re not careful with your LFE levels.  The light nuance of everything will melt your face off if you mistakenly have your receiver turned up too high when things finally kick in.  Just wait for it!  It does all of this without every “sacrificing” a line of spoken dialogue.  The second half of the film is definitely a LOUD one once all hell starts breaking loose.
  • Height: The height channels are not reference here, but there are many examples of their utilization throughout like an eagle soaring, water splashes, cellar door flying open, a bear trap being dropped down, bridge demolition, electrocution wall, explosions, blood squirting, bullet sprays and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: This is where it’s at folks.  Once the nonstop assault of the Third Act begins its balls to the wall craziness that ensues and one hell of an aggressive sound mix thanks to the LFE channel here.  It pounds and nearly knocks you out of your seat.  Everything from the score and heartbeats to the brute force of violence, a wolf-man roaring, gun shots spraying and one hell of an explosive ending rock your entire viewing world.  Keep your remote control handy.  You just might need it.  My 4K Facebook friend Rich Griffiths will approve of it all and definitely won’t be disappointed here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: During the first half of the movie (see the Dynamics section up above) you’ll hardly even notice your rear channels other than some small nuances and jump scare teases.  However, once the craziness begins, most notably the Third Act, it’s like a whole new audio surround track.  I kid you not it jumps from being very front heavy like a comedy, which you could almost call it, to a bombastic action like film with a wealth of sound effects, voices, gun play and spray and so much more.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels aren’t extremely loud, but they are natural, clear and intelligent throughout.

Cabin in the Woods


The Cabin in the Woods 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack include all the previously released extras originally available on the 2012 Blu-ray release.  The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film redeemable in both UltraViolet and iTunes.  Since this one is kind of familiar territory for most readers I won’t waste anymore of your time.  Let’s take a deeper dive into the Blu-ray Disc and explore the extras housed on it (PS the same extras are also in SDR on the 4K UHD disc too).

  • Audio Commentary – Here we have an audio commentary track featuring the brilliant minds of Writer/Director Drew Goddard and Writer/Producer Joss Whedon.  Tell me you don’t want to hear their creative thoughts on this fantastic film.  I love all the joking and fun facts you pick up while watching with this commentary on.
  • We Are Not Who We Are: Making The Cabin in the Woods (HD, 28:33) –  I love this featurette that bestows upon plenty of behind the scenes footage plus the mere fact that blows my mind, Whedon talking about how he and Goddard whipped this script out over the course of three days in a hotel.  How the hell do you do that?  I mean this is a really good film!
  • An Army of Nightmares: Make-up & Animatronic Effects (HD, 12:10) –  This featurette is equally amazing as because of the low budget the crew had only 8 weeks to create all the monsters from scratch.
  • Primal Terror: Visual Effects (HD, 12:07) –  This featurette is basically a continuation of the last talking about the creatures getting into both the makeup and computer effects.
  • The Secret Secret Stash (HD, 13:07) – This one is broken out into two featurettes, “Marty’s Stash” and “My Name is Joss and I’ll Be Your Guide.”  In the former we see some drug paraphernalia props and in the latter we get a visit of the cabin.
  • WonderCon Q&A (HD, 27:30) – Funny guys Whedon and Goddard are front and center in this Q&A panel at WonderCon 2012.  It’s an okay watch, not the best quality.  In my opinion watch the movie with the audio commentary instead.
  • It’s Not What You Think: The Cabin in the Woods (HD) –  Here you can watch the movie on the Blu-ray Disc in BonusView Mode (HD) that in a nutshell is your basic Picture-in-Picture track that was popular so many years ago on the format.  It’s a bunch of cast and crew talking about the film and something I wish there was more of on the 4K Ultra HD format.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD; 2:27)

Cabin in the Woods


With a great audio and video package and a spectacular horror adventure what more do you want from a catalog release on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format?  That’s a rhetorical question.  This one should be an instant add to your growing 4K UHD disc collection.  There’s no need to ramble on any further.  The only reason the summary score is not higher here is because of the fact there’s no new extras to be found here.  Other than that I say take my money Lionsgate!  Hit that Cabin in the Woods 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray pre-order link up down below.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


The Cabin in the Woods

Excites, Scares and Thrills on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

September 5th




Cabin in the Woods 4K Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “Cabin in the Woods (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Ulises

    I love your reviews but as a suggestion I think you should eliminate “flesh tones” and add HDR performance at the technical review