For a film that's sat on the shelves for so long, The Cabin In The Woods has done rather well for itself. It's been called a "game-changer" within the horror genre and it's been compared to Scream for its self-awareness and satiric take on a familiar horror template.
The result? One hell of a fun movie!
And pretty darn clever.
... and spoilers so if you haven't seen it: beware.
As the trailers spoilered (new word), The Cabin In The Woods mixes sci-fi with Evil Dead-style slasher conventions to create something resembling a cross between Cabin Fever and The Truman Show but altogether infinitely better than the former, don't worry. Actually, the sci-fi twist isn't much of a "twist" at all: the film begins with both genres firmly meshed together. You've got the ever reliable Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford casually chatting in a futuristic Bond villain-style lab setting before the title bangs on the screen loudly in blood red lettering.
Take THAT viewers! Put that in your predictability pipe and smoke it!
The film involves a group of cocky twenty-somethings (including Chris "Thor" Hemsworth) making their way to some creepy cabin to spend… a creepy-ass weekend I guess. Come to think of it, why do people think run-down cabins are any place to spend a fun couple of days? You’d think nice, well-kept cabins would be the way to go…
But I digress.
Turns out weird shit starts happening which might suggest that our bunch of friends are being tested. Which it turns out they are! By some witty dudes in a lab. From then on we intercut between the testers and the testees (stop giggling), every clichéd horror movie event underlined by a neat sci-fi touch. This makes every scene unexpected and elevates the film from just another run-of-the-mill slasher flick to something way more original and interesting.
The film also manages to make its characters bearable and, in some cases, even likeable to the point where you don’t necessarily want to see all of them get torn to shreds. So yeah, not quite like Cabin Fever then. The satiric tone works really well and gives the film a tongue-in-cheek underbelly that makes it completely fun from start to finish. This isn’t one to take too seriously and demands to be watched with a lotta popcorn, a lotta friends and a sense of humour wouldn't go amiss as well.
Overall, the hype is, I’m happy to say, justified: The Cabin In The Woods is one of the most unpredictable and unique horror/comedies of recent years. It’s got it all, including Mermen, and feels like an instant cult classic. Funny, smart, cool, random, nutty...