Oh, how the horror genre needs a lift right now. We’re in one of those places in the cycle where fresh ideas are a rare commodity. We’ve exhausted the torture porn style of the Saws, Hostels, etc. Now it’s time for something new. And who best to do such a thing? Why, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, that’s who.
In a Hollywood landscape ripe with silly remakes and boring rehashed material, these guys have not only given us something new, but have set the horror genre on its’ bloody, dismembered ear.
You’ve seen the initial premise: five friends take a weekend to get away and have fun in a vacation cabin deep in the woods. But things take a deadly turn and they must discover the truth of the cabin, or die trying.
All the elements are here in The Cabin in the Woods; the creepy hick gas station attendant, the remote cabin with a lake, the mysterious basement with all the ominous, spooky items that belonged to some murdered family. It’s all there, except there’s a whole other story happening, too: people in lab coats in a large high-tech facility. Guys wearing ties and looking at monitors, flicking switches and pushing buttons. Oh, sure, they allude to all that in the trailer. But what they don’t tell you is why. And I’m not going to, either. That would be mean. And it would ruin the fun you’ll have watching it.
Something they don’t show you in the trailer is the humor. This movie is really funny. It’s also really bloody. It’s a funny horror film that sometimes pokes fun at the genre while deconstructing it before your eyes. Oh, it’s not like those Scream movies, it’s WAY better.
This is the most fun I’ve had in a horror film in a long time – a year, at least.
A great cast helps, for sure. Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchinson, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker, Sigourney Weaver, and others, are all great here. I have to wonder if some of these people were on board when they found out it was written by Joss Whedon. That would surely sell me on it. And Drew Goddard also writes with Joss as he has on much of Joss’ and J.J. Abrams stuff, so he’s got a good track record. And indeed they prove a worthy team yet again, by taking us places we haven’t gone before in the horror genre. And they dole out the information in bits so not to tell us everything all at once. They keep you guessing for a while. What you have here is a three layered onion that gets peeled in the course of the perfectly efficient 95 minutes of delightfully funny, bloody delight of a film. But instead of crying, you’re laughing!
Some of the effects are practical, which is always a pleasure to me, and some is CG. The CG is mostly decent, though not really the important thing here, and used when it would have been clearly impractical to do it any other way. And it is shot in glorious 2D! Oh, the human eye rejoices in seeing this as they were meant to see things on screen.
I seriously recommend The Cabin in the Woods.. Easily 4 kittenhands, maybe 4 and a half. So much fun! And so very unique. Yes, finally a movie with some new ideas. And there are so many magical moments in this. Moments full of frenzy, mayhem, and unicorns. This movie should make horror fans happy. I am going to buy this on Blu-Ray when it comes out.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, so very delighted a film like this came out. Thanks Joss and Drew!