Trivia The film was made in 2009, but only released in 2012. According to IMDB, the film's release date was postponed because the studio wanted to convert it to 3D, despite objections from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. These plans were eventually scrapped, and the film was released only in 2D.
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The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
8th Apr 12
Five thrill seekers head into the mountains to a remote log cabin...
Review “Kids these days. They just don’t get scared like they used to” lamented a pre-scandal Henry J. Waternoose, former CEO of Monsters, Inc.. That was 10 years ago and two years after even post modern self referential horror was old hat with Scream 3 and things have gotten worse with a planet of cinemagoers who are almost impossible to surprise with a horror movie anymore and even those with no interest in the genre whatsoever being mildly au fait with the clichés. Well, everyone - including those horror naysayers - should see Drew Goddard’s unbelievably fun The Cabin in the Woods.
Arriving three years after it wrapped and shrouded in appropriate secrecy the entire time, it begins with one of the most surprising and unconventional openings in all of horror and just gets better from there. The definition of a Go-In-Cold movie, all you need know is what the title tells you: this is about a cabin in the woods and just trust me, it’s full of great surprises.
Acting runs from very good to superb but even mentioning who some of the main characters are could be mildly spoilery – just glance over the cast list to the right and i assure you they all did a great job. The film’s core quintet are an excellent bunch, all sharply playing both against and to type with winning charm but there’s so much more to the cast than them.
The gory set-pieces are suitably nasty but they always stay on the right side of distasteful and the well judged scares and intelligent but not overly serious plot make it that perfect mainstream horror movie combo of fearlessness and accessibility. The many many references to horror tropes are among the most astute in cinema and the imagination and flair with which they are dropped ensures even a non-horror viewer can still get swept up in the mayhem.
Not only is the script incredibly witty and smart but Goddard even manages to pull off a playful trashiness which producer / co-writer / general mark of excellence Joss Whedon probably wouldn’t attempt alone. In many ways it’s a mean sick comedy but it’s the most inventive and exciting sick comedy to come along in very long time.
The risk of a film which delights so in subverting expectations is the audience could eventually get their guard up but this is avoided for the most part with revelations and turns so wild that if anyone did predict them then enough drugs to make Shaun Ryder come up were probably involved.
It remains to be seen how it will fair with repeat viewing but what is certain is Goddard has made a film fundamentally about the difficulty of making an effective horror movie these days that actually is an effective horror movie. It’s also a horror movie that could be recommended to practically everyone and that in itself is a moderate modern movie miracle.