Cabin In The Woods
The plot of The Cabin in the Woods reads like a pretty typical horror flick – five teens journey to a mysterious, isolated cabin for a weekend of partying, making-out and general young-person-good-times. Of course, then they accidentally summon a zombified hick family who love a bit of torture, and their weekend gets a hell of a lot… bloodier.
I can already see some of you turning away, uninterested in the premise – but trust me, there is a lot more to this flick than a simple slasher. However, I believe this is one movie where you need to know as little about it as possible before you walk into the theatre. So, for some of you, this will be the end of the review – goodbye, enjoy the movie! – for the more daring souls amongst you, do read on.
The Cabin in the Woods is basically a deconstruction of the horror genre. It takes what we all know, and what we’ve all seen a million times and turns it on its head. It is clever, funny and surprisingly enjoyable – and I’m not sure I can even really classify it as a horror.
This, in part, must be attributed to the writing talents of Joss Whedon. The man is known to ignite cults surrounding every piece of work he produces. Buffy, Firefly, The Avengers, even his jokey web-short Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is well loved amidst culture nerds. The Cabin In The Woods had phenomenal buzz around it before director Drew Goddard could call out cut on the final take. And, as it turns out, it was not without reason.
The relatively unknown actors are great, heaping on ample charm to subvert their roles and the horror tropes so that you can’t help but love them by the time they get in any real danger. And honestly, the more I see Chris Hemsworth in films, the more I am convinced that he is an absolute keeper. He may not make the greatest choices, but he always does a fine job with the role he’s handed. What a gem.
He also owns my favourite moment in The Cabin in the Woods – I won’t spoil it, but once you’ve seen it, seek me out and I’ll gush at you. It’s a fabulous pay-off.
Which goes into how well Goddard and Whedon did at writing this screenplay – it is filled with amazing payoffs. They teased many outcomes in this movie, and almost every single one was rewarded in some way. The extra layer to the story, which I will only hint at, gave them the excuse to get away with farfetched, slightly ridiculous scenarios that guarantee a satisfying release.
True, the writing and the dialogue is somewhat smarmy. You can almost tangibly feel the writers snickering at how delightfully clever they are being. But all the elements add up to having fun with a ridiculous genre that we all secretly love, and I can’t fault them for that. I laughed, I told that guy to move away from the window and I loved the merman – it worked on me.
And the best part? I don’t think there is a sequel coming! Yay!!
The Cabin in the Woods was co-written and directed by Drew Goddard, co-written by Joss Whedon and stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz and Richard Jenkins.
by Jenni Townsend
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