There are genre films and there are films that redefine genres. There are films that fundamentally ‘get’ a genre so much that the premise amplifies everything you love and acknowledges and laughs with those loveable foibles. The Cabin in the Woods is Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s love letter to the horror (particularly ‘Slasher’ sub) genre. It loves and recognizes the international flavours of horror but relishes in the Americana of the Slasher. In a way Cabin’s premise speaks to the commodification and corporatisation of filmic art in order to find the universal qualities in Horror.
For those uninitiated, five friends (comprising of your essential archetypal Slasher characters) go for a weekend away in a remote cabin in the woods, and naturally there may be something wicked occupying said woods. Now, normally I’d like to give you a few choice ‘non-spoilery’ tidbits to contextualise what you’ve got to look forward to; however it’s nigh impossible to do with Cabin. Since it’s release in the U.S.A and U.K I’ve felt like Neo in The Matrix attempting to dodge spoilers. The less you know, the more rewarding anexperience it is.
And unless you were in those select cinemas around Australia (and the 2 remaining screens as I write this review) you missed the near perfect film at the cinema for a group of film geek friends. That’s not to say that you had to be a cinefile to love it, even a person with a peripheral familiarity with horror will get it’s self-referential bent. And for the rest of the film to succeed it’s essential for the performances to be sincere, and the direction to ratchet up the tension – which all involved absolutely knock out of the park.
The Cabin in the Woods does for horror what Annie Hall did for the romantic comedy. Cabin is the emergency resuscitation that the horror genre DESPERATELY needed. It’s refreshing, frightening,thrilling, hilarious, nostalgic and a hell of a lot of fun.
and a half
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison
You must get your hands on this on DVD, Blu Ray or Digitial Download.