Horror, 95 Minutes, 2011
Clever movies are more fun. It’s not that movies have to be clever to be fun or that clever movies are always fun – but take any regular dumb movie and make it clever and you have more fun. For example take the plot where a bunch of friends drive up to a ridiculously remote cabin that they’ve never been before and then get picked off in ones and twos by zombies, cannibals, demons, ghosts, rednecks, rabid weasels or what-have-you. That’s not a clever plot. That’s a clichéd, hackneyed, dime-a-dozen plot. “Cabin in the Woods” takes that tired plot and makes it clever.
“Cabin in the Woods” is insanely fun.
It’s almost impossible to describe the film with any fidelity that doesn’t spoil it. So I won’t. Suffice to say that all of the elements of a totally clichéd horror movie are here and every single one is skewered expertly, but lovingly, in service to the underlying story. As the two stories progress and become more intertwined the very underpinnings of the horror genre are slapped around and given a good what-for.
With the writing partnership of Joss Whedon [IMDB] and Drew Goddard [IMDB] maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that this was going to be clever. But I did underestimate both how clever it would get and just how far they were willing to go in the end. “Cabin in the Woods” is a high profile experimental take on a tired genre and for that alone it deserves kudos. It’s also a exceptionally well paced, acted and scripted movie which makes it extremely easy to recommend; highly.