Reading reviews prior to seeing 'The Cabin In The Woods' is a bad idea. Ideally, you're going to want to see the film with as little knowledge about it as humanly possible. Grant it, most critics would feel they've committed a crime that is punishable-by-death for revealing any key plot points that would undoubtedly spoil your fun, but there's always someone out there who can't keep a secret. I promise you, the following review is completely safe and spoiler free. Still, if you're hoping to see 'The Cabin In The Woods' with a clean slate, I wouldn't advise you to continue reading.
Believe it or not, 'The Cabin In The Woods' was shot back in 2009 but the release date was pushed back several times in the midst of MGM's financial collapse. Lionsgate eventually picked up the film and a final release date was set. It's hard to imagine a movie as great as this collecting dust on a studio shelf for nearly three years, but the time has come for 'The Cabin In The Woods' to be unleashed and it turns the genre upside down and drops it right on its head.
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard penned the script for 'The Cabin In The Woods' in which the latter also makes his directorial debut. The two deliberately make the film out to be reminiscent to countless other horror flicks with a tedious synopsis you've seen over a dozen times paired with a title that's as equally simplistic. On the surface, this is your typical haunted house flick but as the story progresses, Whedon and Goddard dive deeper into a central mystery that paves the way to an unforgettable climax that's just as bloody as it is brilliant.
Having a decent knowledge of the genre will definitely amplify your experience. The writers use a familiar formula as the film's basic structure putting five 20-somethings representing immediately recognizable types - the jock, the stoner, the slut, the good girl and the nerd - in a remote cabin in the middle of the woods to partake in a weekend full of sex, drugs and loud music. At one point, a cellar door seems to open by itself leading the curious group down into the basement to explore some strange knick-knacks. From here on, this seemingly traditional string of events warps into something so diabolically delightful that only Whedon and Goddard could be responsible. The two intentionally put their characters into common clichés to explore them and provide long-awaited reasons as to why these people constantly make the same stupid choices, year after year and film after film. While there's another story-line that intertwines with this one and is perhaps even more significant, it's a case where the less you know, the better thus you'll have to witness it for yourself. Being that Whedon and Goddard are horror fanboys themselves, 'The Cabin In The Woods' is flooded with references, paying homage to a number of genre flicks throughout its hour and a half runtime.
Though I wish I could say more, I don't want to spoil the fun. I will say that 'The Cabin In The Woods' is a must-see and a true gem for horror fanatics. It's an absolute blast to see with a large audience, watching as Whedon and Goddard pick your brain along with everyone else's sitting around you. The two exercise a tired genre that is definitely in need of change. It's a breath of fresh air after being suffocated for nearly two decades by the same old crap.
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