Joss Whedon is quickly becoming the new film Messiah. For those of you who urged me to watch “Firefly” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog” a long time ago and I said no…I apologize. Though he may not have directed “The Cabin in the Woods” he did co-write it…in three days. Like my previous post here this belongs in the Horror/Comedy genre, though leaning a bit closer to the Horror side. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed “The Cabin in the Woods” in all it’s gory, fun-poking, well-acted awesomeness.
You’ve seen this movie a million times. Five friends get together for a weekend of sex, drugs, and rock and roll at “my cousin’s abandoned cabin that he got for a really good deal off some guy”, and then terror ensues. That’s where Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard come in. Writing the script in just three days and filming the movie over the course of three months, they have completely turned the horror genre on its head. They almost throw you head first into the underlying plot at the beginning as we follow two government looking co-workers through their morning routine. These two are talking about troubles at home and what their weekend plans are, so it almost makes you think that you’ve got the wrong movie. Without going into too much detail here, it turns out that these two guys play a very large role in the outcome of the film. More to come.
We’re then introduced to our cannon fodder, and they do not disappoint. This crack team of individuals is the old recipe tossed around a little. We have the pretty girl, the pretty but reserved girl, the jock, the new guy, and lastly the stoner. These are the people we get to watch die over the course of the movie. For the most part they were a bunch of no-names in the parts except for Chris Hemsworth as the jock. For anyone who can’t place a name without going to IMDB, he played “Thor” in “The Avengers” and you guessed it, “Thor”. Seems like a strange role for him to play since he’s now one of the biggest actors in the world, but this movie was made in 2009, BEFORE “Thor” was filmed. Ha, “BeThor”. Anyway, these guys get together for a weekend at “the cabin” and of course nothing winds up working out for them. Soon after discovering a basement full of weird objects, a zombie family wakes up outside and decides that these obnoxious “clearly not in college anymore” college students need to go. Re-enter the two government guys. Back in the random lab they’re in, we watch as they seem to control what’s happening in the cabin and the surrounding woods, such as spraying chemicals into the air to heighten libido’s, add creepy fog to the area, and lock the doors to all of the rooms that the friends have split up to. Of course they are doing all of this with the utmost charm and humor, lightening up the mood for the doomed friends just a tad.
As with most of my reviews I can’t go into further detail because it would just give too much away, and I give a lot of credit to Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard for what they did with this. Not only did they basically recreate the horror genre while also poking fun at torture-porn films like the “Saw” series, but they had several familiar faces. I won’t go ahead and say cameos because these actors (for the most part) all have significant roles, but when was the last time you saw the bad guy from “Billy Madison” in a movie? Exactly. Before I end this, I just wanted to pop up the other taglines I had to choose from for the title of this post because they are not only very good descriptions of what goes on in the movie (and how it differs/pokes fun of every other horror film), but because they are also hilarious.
Quaint abandoned property…sold.
If something is chasing you…split up.
If you hear a strange sound outside…have sex.
Hats off to you, Whedon and Goddard. Hats off.
DIRECTOR’S CUT: Amazing take on the horror genre, and I absolutely look forward to anything coming from these two guys. Oh, and just to prove how crazy stuff gets in this movie, watch this. Point proven.
FLICKCHART RATING: 117/1943