Shortly before a better known Joss Whedon movie came out, there was The Cabin in the Woods. Written in three days along with Drew Goddard, who also directed the film, the movie is a satire of slasher flicks.
The movie opens when five friends, including characters portrayed by Chris Hemsworth and Dollhouse alum Fran Kranz, head into a remote cabin in the woods for vacation. Eventually ending up in the basement, they find an old diary and read an incantation aloud summoning up the zombified corpses of a family of hillbillies who supposedly once resided in the cabin. So far, you could be forgiven for thinking this is merely another cheesy horror movie. However, you know from the beginning that the entire affair is being orchestrated from an underground government bunker that has wired the house with cameras.
The movie is fairly gory but the juxtaposition between the horrors happening above ground with the humorous antics of the government workers, inured to the suffering that is just part of their jobs, nudges it, at times, into the comedic genre. The standard Whedon sense of humor permeates the movie as one by one, the campers meet their doom. Halfway through the movie, a twist (which is too good to spoil) sends the proceedings spiraling madly out of control.
The Cabin in the Woods received a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes with many reviewers saying it easily took best in genre for 2012. Borrowing heavily from many other horror movies, this film could easily be mistaken for a Scary Movie ripoff from the previews which also, dare not give away the twist. But make no mistake, Whedon’s melding of genres while mocking and reinventing them is far more clever than the slapstick schlock that the Scary Movie franchise traffics in.
Now streaming on Netflix, this film is absolutely not to be missed.
Final rating (out of 5):