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 joyfully clear from the very get-go that Cabin in the Woods is a teen-slasher movie with dual identities.
Spilling detail about what separates this fun-packed slice of Halloween party dress-up from the churned-out masses of generic blood-n-guts horror would risk spoiling the fun of the discovery. The first thought to attach to that is the involvement of Joss Whedon.
Clearly blessed with talent, at one point Whedon was gaining a reputation for making cancelled TV shows. Cult favourites like Firefly, Dollhouse and Angel found their audiences years after they were brutally hacked down by impatient TV executives, yet his God-like status in the geek-verse had never been in doubt.
Just like Tarantino co-piloted From Dusk Till Dawn, Whedon’s influence and sense of fun is all over The Cabin in the Woods. His skill as a writer to supply those nods and winks to the audience, while simultaneously attempting things that seem original makes the film tick on multiple levels.
Part credit must go to Drew Goddard for his handling of a lively film that teases the idea of convention and gets the most from a good humoured cast, whose roles, particularly the twenty-something cabin dwellers, mirror the typecasting of the material the writing is so lovingly tipping its cap to.
The last thirty-minutes had my jaw on the floor, hitting me where I wasn’t expecting. As the plot breezes forward, it does the polar-opposite of your average hack n’ slasher, in as much its ideas multiply and mutate until we’re grinning at the audacity of the execution.
A tidy treat for horror fans with imagination aplenty. There’s a touch of reality TV satire along with great chemistry from Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. Bloody fun that peels back the layers until a memorable climax. This is how you make an A-list B-movie. 4.5/5