The Cabin In The Woods: "There Is A Greater Good, And For That You Must Be Sacrificed"

Director: Drew Goddard
Writer:    Joss Whedon
               Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly
               Chris Hemsworth
               Anna Hutchison
               Fran Kranz
               Jesse Williams
               Richard Jenkins
               Bradley Whitford
               Brian White
               Amy Acker
               Sigourney Weaver
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

It's fair to say that this film has taken a long time to finally dee the light of day, Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon came up wit the idea for The Cabin in the Woods way back in 2008/09, but due to MGM's bankruptcy and vavrious sceduling conflicts we arent seeing it until 2012. The trailers portray a pretty conventional teen slasher flick, but it's the cryptic, Rubix cube styled poster that offers up the biggest hints about the cabin's hidden secrets, finally we have a horror film to add some spark back into a slowly dying genre.

(L-R) Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison,
Fran Kranz & Kristin Connolly
The man helming the movie, Goddard and his co-writer/producer Whedon, whose back-catalogue of credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Cloverfield and recently The Avengers, know quite a thing or two about genre entertainment. In this film, they joyfully turn the horror movie on its head with spectacular results. Not since Wes Craven's Scream (a personal favourite) has a film been so direct about peeling back the fourth wall and dissecting the horror genre.

So basically, the story tracks five friends as they head off for a nice getaway to a remote cabin. On the surface, they resemble the usual crowd of horror stereotypes, the jock (Hemsworth), the whore (Hutchison), the virgin (Connolly), the scholar (Williams) and the fool (Kranz). But Goddard and Whedon find smart ways to take these cliches and break them down thorughout the course of the movie, simultaneously celebrating and almost mocking a genre they both clearly have a love/hate relationship with.

So many ludicrous scenarios come into play in this genre, but never in any others, such as: why, in teen horrors, do the protagonists seemingly commit acts of severe stupidity to put themselves in harm's way? Why do the bookish and dweeby ones suddenly become frisky? Why does the hot blonde girl strip down to her underwear for no apparent reason? Well, all of  these points are tackled during The Cabin in the Woods as Whedon and Goddard's sharp and brilliantly written script goes extremely meta.

A simultaneous plotline sees a pair of business nerds, played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, stuck in an underground bunker to mastermind a zombie attack on the helpless teens in the cabin. The reasons may seem sinister at first, but soon a supernatural conspiracy comes into play.

(L-R) Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker & Bradley Whitford
This is where the trademark Whedon relaxed dialogue comes into play, as the film takes a comedic route with Jenkins and Whitford serving not only as stand-ins for the writers, but also the audience. Serving almost like hosts of bad realtiy TV show, they serve as the narrators for the events unfolding before the audiences eyes.

There's a great moment when, after viewing one particularly gruesome attack, Whitford just stares blank and emotionless at the video screen. The scene really shows the filmmakers contempt for the genre, mocking the way other filmmakers and horror fans have become numb to films serving up one mindless bludgeoning after another, and not really responding correctly to it.

Revealing too much about Cabin's intricate plot details will rob the movie of its power, but expect big surprises in the jumbled yet entertaining finale and a big-name star cameo with a connection to Whedon. Cabin in the Woods is witty, scary and incredibly inventive, and is full of plenty of jumps for any horror fan. This is a must-see genre altering horror movie, miss it and it'll be your own loss.

 The Cabin in the Woods - Trailer