Director: Drew Goddard
Neoli’s Review: The Cabin in the Woods is one of those films I actually anticipated watching in the cinema last year. Not because I was a big fan of Joss Whedon (who gave me Buffy the Vampire Slayer during my awkward teenage years), but because I read many glowing movie reviews of it, which can basically be summed up as: The Cabin in the Woods is not your ordinary horror film.
Anything that’s “not your ordinary horror film”, I’m in. So I went to watch it.
And sure enough, it’s that one horror film I wanted all my friends and family to see as well.
It’s hard to write a movie review of The Cabin in the Woods without bringing in the spoilers. But for a review’s sake, let’s just say five college friends go on a vacation in a far-flung cabin in the woods. Typical horror film setup. It even has a cast which pretty much represents everyone we know; the Alpha Male (Chris Hemworth), the Whore (Anna Hutchison), the Geek (Jesse Williams), the Fool (Fran Kranz), and the Virgin (Kristen Connolly). Those characters are not accidental because it’s revealed later on that they’re all part of a larger scene.
Here’s the crazy part. Behind that scene is an anonymous headquarters based somewhere, apparently dedicated to manipulating the horror for their chosen victims. (Kinda like the crew behind the Hunger Games, but with more gore.) Those technicians even bet what monster will befall the five friends, as if it’s all just casual fun. Which it is; they’ve been orchestrating this monster stuff for centuries and with worldwide scope. Anyway, the featured monster for the college buddies are zombies—a whole family of zombies.
Again, no, this isn’t your typical zombie horror film. It gets better, but I’ll stop right here because I swore no spoilers.
Suffice it to say The Cabin in the Woods is the horror film that explores horror in all its many frightening flavors. Which would make it Horror+. Or Horror Overload. Or Horror/Anti-Horror. It doesn’t get too bloody or nauseous like Hollywood’s torture porn (which is exactly what The Cabin… mocks so beautifully. You don’t need torture porn to scare people. Sometimes, all it takes is a creative approach to the horror genre). I hate to say this but this is the horror movie that actually makes its audience think.
There’s irony, parody, self-referencing, philosophical musings, (even the apocalypse), and the best of all—postmodernism. See, it’s a tough feat for a horror film to not take itself seriously and yet still demand that the audience take it seriously. Thankfully, writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard know how to elegantly deconstruct it to absurd levels.
The result is this horror slash comedy slash parody film that will forever change the way you think about monsters. And Sigourney Weaver too.
Verdict: Watch it now, stream it to your smartphone or tablet, do whatever it takes to get this film playing right before your eyes.
Neoli’s Rating: 9/10