The Cabin in the Woods (2011) Directed by Drew Goddard. With Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Fran Kranz, Amy Acker and Jesse Williams.
Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written with geek messiah Joss Whedon, it’s abundantly clear from the very get-go that Cabin in the Woods is a teen-slasher movie with a difference.
Going into detail about what separates this fun-packed slice of entertainment from the churned-out masses of generic, blood-and-guts horror films, would be to spoil the fun of the discovery. The first thought to attach to that is the involvement of Joss Whedon. Up until just over a year ago, Whedon’s career was something of an enigma. Clearly blessed with talent, he was beginning to gain an unwanted reputation for making cancelled television shows. Series like Firefly, that found their audiences years after they were brutally hacked down by impatient television executives. Fast-forward a year, and thanks to this and the box office bonanza that was Avengers Assemble – and he’s the crowned prince of ‘Geekland’.
Just like Quentin Tarantino with From Dusk Till Dawn – Whedon’s influence and sense of fun is all over Cabin in the Woods. His ability as a writer to work in those knowing nods and winks to the audience, while at the same time, attempting things that just haven’t been seen before, makes the film tick on more than just one level. Credit must also go to Drew Goddard for his handling of the film and the energy and fun he gets from his cast whose roles, particularly the twenty-something cabin dwellers, cleverly mirror the typecasting of so much of the material this film is lovingly tipping its cap to.
Without wanting to give the game away, the last thirty-minutes had my jaw on the floor. It hit me where I wasn’t expecting it, and I loved it all the more for doing so. As the film breezes forward, it does the polar opposite of your average hack n’ slasher, in as much as it doesn’t run out of ideas, moreover, its ideas begin to multiply and mutate until you’ll just be sat there grinning with glee at the audacity of the execution.
A rare treat with bags of imagination and intelligence that just keeps on peeling back the layers until an unforgettable climax. Quite brilliant. 4.5/5