The Cabin in the Woods is an American Horror film written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, Cabin in the Woods is also Goddards directorial debut. Written over the course of three days, the film has a strong satirical edge and Whedons trade mark of both celebrating cliches while at the same time poking fun at them. Goddards effect on this film is in no way overshadowed by Whedons work, if anything this film shows what a great writer and director Goddard is. I have issues when people claim this to be a Slasher, as it doesn’t follow allot of the “rules” or cliches of Slashers in particular. It lacks someone who trying to stop the killer/killers, it lacks a true final girl, the town has no previous transgressions coming back for vengeance and for my biggest gripe I would have to spoil the ending. Something I’m not willing to do.
The film opens with a pair of technicians Gary Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford) going through their daily routine. The film then cuts to a group of college friends Dana Polk (Kristen Connolly), Curt Vaughan (Chris Hemsworth), Jules Louden (Anna Hutchison) and Marty Mikalski (Fran Kranz) leaving for the weekend to a secluded cabin in the woods. The two technicians with the aid of a many scientists working many different departments lead the protagonists to the basement where they unknowingly summon forth a zombiefied backwater family the Buckners. The party while under the murderous assault of the Buckners must unravel the mystery of the cabin.
Ok, get ready because I’m going to praise the ever loving shit out of this movie. First and foremost the writing is unbelievable. As a big fan of Joss Whedon, I can easily say this is his best work. Not to cut Goddard out of the picture as he added some of the elements that makes this gem glisten. This film shows how versatile a horror movie can get. Its funny, scary, ironic all at the same time. By not shying away from the bad cliche and instead embracing a shaping them to go against expectation is simply amazing.
Next is the whole cast is down right magnificent in their performances. The whole core cast shines, but the actors that stand out from this crowd in my opinion are Jenkins, Whitford, Connolly and Kranz. With my personal favorite being Fran Kranz as the stoner burn out. He delivers some of the funniest dialog in the whole movie.
The only grip I have is the CGI monsters that make their appearance late in the film. I understand they were added last minute as the screens would be nearly empty due to the size of the sets. Enough practice effect monsters are in this film that while the CGI does annoy me slightly, it in no way detracts from the film as a whole. Hell the werewolf doesn’t even bug me and I have a strong dislike for werewolf movies.
I don’t need to give any final thoughts of this film. Cabin in the Woods is one of my all time favorite horror films since I saw it when it was released to DVD. I love introducing it to friends who have yet to see it. I suggest that if you have yet to see this film you make an effort to do so and when you watch try and catch all the subtle references slipped in throughout the movie. 10/10