The Cabin in the Woods

Director(s): Drew Goddard

Starring: Amy AckerAnna HutchinsonChris HemsworthBradley WhitfordKristen ConnollyJesse Williams

Duration: 1H35M

Everyone hates spoilers, right? I know I do. Spoiler-free reviews are difficult to come by these days, what with the internet being a free-for-all. I’ve have many great movies spoiled for me. The conversation usually goes like this:

Spoiler-person: “Have you seen [insert new movie] yet?”

Me: “No, not yet. Don’t tell me anything about it.”

SP: “I won’t. But what I will say is look out for [some situation] oh and the cameo from [famous actor]. You won’t see it coming.”

Me: “Thanks, dickhead.”

The ideal situation is you go watch this movie without prior knowledge of, well, anything. And this review isn’t going to spoil anything on you. Honestly. If you want a review that ruins everything, go read The Hollywood Reporter’s spoilerific one. Otherwise stay the hell away from that thing. I really don’t know what they were thinking by publishing it.

We’ve come to the belief that the movie started as a drunken idea. You know the ones that seem like “THE BEST IDEA, LIKE, EVER!!!”, except that this one actually was. The cast are universally excellent, with Whedonverse alumni standing particularly strong. Relative newcomer Kristen Connolly, who looks like the lovechild of Judy Greer, Ellie Kemper, Abby Elliot, and Kate Mara, is commanding in the lead role.

Producer/writer Joss Whedon called it a “loving hate letter” to the horror genre. And that’s essentially what it is. It takes everything you know about the genre, turns it on its head, reaches into its proverbial backpack, pulls out Mjölnir and smashes it into smithereens. What’s left is the smartest, funniest and most meta horror movie since 1996’s Scream.

Drew Goddard seems comfortable behind the camera, and has gleaned a lot of nuances from his mentor (we’re guessing) Joss Whedon. The script’s wit is stand-above-everything-else funny. It’s funnier than any comedy film I’ve seen in the last 2 years. Sidebar: for those unfamiliar with the director/writer Drew Goddard, he arrived on the set of Buffy and wrote Selfless. Yep. His first frickin’ episode was Selfless. Then he wrote for Angel, Alias and Lost. And then Cloverfield. Damn talented b**tard!

But that’s what is exactly clear about this film: the talent. It’s quite pathetic how diluted our horror genre has become. There’s no element of surprise anymore. Directors and writers are forcing themselves to  idolize complete and utter torture-porn gore (Human Centipede) to shock or surprise audiences. Not enough can be said for such profoundly original, hysterical and accomplished horror movie as this.

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