If THE AVENGERS this past summer has taught us nothing else, it’s solidified the fact that Joss Whedon is awesome, for the masses! He also had another little film come out that summer, which Whedon co-wrote with his long time partner, Drew Goddard, who directed THE CABIN IN THE WOODS.
Blank Page Grade: B+
This film is awesome. Plain and simple. It’s a fresh take on a clichéd genre (in my opinion), which tries to explain and make fun of a genre that has some major pitfalls and formulas used over and over again. Horror films are awesome, but we hit a time, when the mainstream horror flicks became tired old formulaic mish mashes.
There was a surge of classic Horror remakes a while back, however, there’s nothing out there that interests me these days. Somehow though, I’ve fallen into a Horror movie Lovers’ crowd online through the Blogging Community, and I’ve learned from them that there is indeed a great Horror industry out there that are doing amazingly innovative and groundbreaking stuff.
However, I’ve still got the bitter taste of the commercially clichéd films in my mouth. This is probably why I loved THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, since the entire premise is a take on explaining the formulaic gimmicks that drive the typical horror film. Everything from investigating noises which ought to be left well enough alone, to making out in the dark creepy woods, to running up the stairs instead of out the door, all get brilliantly explained in this non genre specific thriller.
There’s no reasonable way for me to review this film, without spoilers, however I’ll try. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is deceptively not the movie it seems like it is. About a group of High School kids spending a summer weekend at a Cabin in the middle of nowhere, the story evolves into something a lot more complicated and layered and becomes a pure Joss Whedon entertainer through and through. Even first time director Drew Goddard shows shades of Whedon-ism in his execution of the film.
The writing is spontaneous and fresh with Whedon written all over it. The dialogues are witty, original and often hilarious. Our Viking God Chris Hemsworth headlines this, but not really. Even the rest of the cast is a few familiar faces with some relatively unknowns being young and idiotic, as a typical teenage movie does. Whedon veteran Amy Acker has a minor part as well, along with the always awesome Bradley Whitford & Richard Jenkins as, what I can only qualify, the ones carrying the movie through out.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is an amazing movie that addresses all the clichés, which drive a Horror Film, and, in a self-derogatory way, creates a story around those very same clichés. It’s almost like a satire wrapped in an original story, completely unlike the Wayans’ brothers’ parodies of formulaic films, which themselves became formulaic.
Drew Goddard’s first directorial was pretty good, despite not being able to make much of a dent at the box office. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS can be enjoyed as a satire of bad Horror movies, or as an original story itself and of course, by Whedon fans in general. The only thing to recall with this is not to expect an out and out Horror flick, which is how the film was promoted.