85/100 (95 min, 2012)
Plot: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison
Run, fall, die
Welcome to the horror galore - "The Cabin in the Woods" is one of the most praised horror films of the past 20 years and rightfully so. Not only is it a skillful horror film, it's also a biting satire on the movie production, audiences, typical storytelling cliches and a parody and at the same time a homage to many classic horror movies. It's outrageous, funny, scary, gory and very satisfying.
From the creators of "Buffy", "Cloverfield" and "Frefly" comes a story that mixes all of those, despite the fact you wouldn't suspect it does - the film begins like an ordinary slasher flick - five young people, being quite stereotypical bunch from such a horror film, go on a trip to the remote cabin, to party, have sex and have fun. Of course there will be a bloodshed, as if always happens when you are a stereotypical horror movie character, but there is also a second plot of the movie, featuring enigmatic characters played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford that holds a key to this mystery.
To say anything more would be a true crime - "The Cabin in the Woods" perpetually balances on what is real and what is clearly a fantasy to the point that you don't know what to expect anymore - is it our world? Is it a different world? Is it our world with slight changes? The two settings of the story we see feel so surreal, you won't be able to answer those questions till the very end of the movie. That ending is clever and outrageous enough to make sense in movie's universe, though from what I observed it infuriated a lot of people.
The movie is filled with more humour than most of recent comedies - not just fantastic lines and humorous situations but also genuinely brilliant scenes and sequences that make open fun out of the genre, audience and the characters at the same time - as the hilarious scenes with Japanese girls or very pissed off unicorn. Yes, that's right. A Unicorn.
There is also a short appearance by someone who starred in one of the most horrifying horror films in the history. - I won't tell you who that person is, but I thought it was great homage to include that actor in the film. The nods and homages to classic and recent horror movies are present in such quantity here you really would not see this coming based on the beginning of the movie. Spotting them was really a lot of fun and I can't wait for the DVD to come out - freezing certain frames and looking at the details will be tons of fun.
Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard wrote the movie together in a long weekend. That script is the most remarkable thing about the movie and I don't know many horror films that I could say that about. The film is the biggest twist on horror genre since "Scream"- it does so without the shocking amounts of very popular nowadays crude humour and while it is making fun of the movies, its characters and the audience, it never does so in a openly mocking or disrespectful kind of way.
To say anything more about the plot would be too much - while the twists and turns of the story are never as shocking as "The Sixth Sense" or "The Fight Club" and a lot of it can be predicted, they still make for a fun movie however I doubt the film loses anything if you are watching it knowing everything about the plot - if you are an avid horror fan this one is definitely for you.