The Cabin In The Woods has been sat on a shelf somewhere waiting to be released for several years. Thankfully the wait was more than worth it, as this is a slice of utter genius from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.
I won’t be giving away much of the plot here, as this is a film that will lose much of its appeal once the twists and turns have been revealed. And there are many twists and turns to be revealed, with the path from beginning to end being constantly changed by some magnificent writing. Suffice to say that this is a slasher horror on only one level, but there are more levels above and below that. Think of one film framed by another, a subplot within a bigger plot, with the whole picture revealed slowly but surely.
Don’t go into The Cabin In The Woods with preconceived notions about what you’re going to see. It’s a horror with very little horror, it’s the funniest non-comedy you will have ever seen, it has in-jokes and self-knowing asides around every corner. It plays on your expectations from beginning to end.
Two weeks ago I reviewed The Hunger Games, which I described as “the worst film I have seen for years.” The Cabin In The Woods may not be the best film I have seen in years, but it’s certainly the cleverest.
If you like horror movies and have seen most of those released over the last 20 years then this is a must-see. The nods to convention will keep you entertained throughout. Even if you aren’t into horror movies you’ll probably enjoy The Cabin In The Woods on some level. After all, as already mentioned this is rarely horrific, and certainly never scary.
The writing is supreme, the directing confident, the acting believable. This is film as it should be – simple-yet-cerebral.