'The Cabin in the Woods' Review: Game Changer for Horror Movie Genre

'The Cabin in the Woods' Review: Game Changer for Horror Movie Genre

Don’t watch any trailers, don’t read any spoiler reviews and don’t ask your friends what “The Cabin in the Woods” is all about. It’s that good, and a perfect film to see in theatres because it’s one of the year’s best.

Sure, we’ve seen movies with a similar premise before: A group of young adults go away to a house for the weekend, only to find that the house is somehow haunted. However, we’ve never seen anything like “The Cabin in the Woods.”

The group consists of the sexually active, but unmarried couple Jules and Curt (Anna Hutchison and Thor’s Chris Hemsworth), a girl and a boy meeting for the first time (a breakout performance by Kristen Connolly and Jesse Williams), and of course, the brilliant stoner (Fran Kranz).

The film begins in some sort of control room, where we see two men (Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins) in shirts and ties, who seem to be in command of the employees dressed in lab coats around them. At some point the connection between the control room and the cabin is revealed, but I won’t say any more about it.

What’s unique about “Cabin” is that it never goes where you would normally expect. It has some of the stereotypical teen horror flick moments, but it’s different since the film pokes fun at itself occasionally. “Cabin” reminds me of Wes Craven’s “Scream,” in the fact that it completely transcends the stereotypical teenage horror flicks into an unbelievable and memorable movie. It’s not just about a haunted house in the woods, people getting slaughtered and zombie monsters. A whole other element is added that makes “Cabin” one of the best thrillers we’ve seen in years.

The film delivers buckets of gore, hilarious one-liners and surprising twists. Yes, it’s very bloody, but to the point where you will be cracking up about how insanely over-the-top it is. The last 30 minutes will completely blow you away and you’ll find yourself wondering, “What’s next?”

Writer Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” director of next month’s “The Avengers,” delivers a perfect screenplay that mixes panic, dread, suspense and hilarity. Although this is Drew Goddard’s directorial debut, he has worked with Whedon over the years, as a writer for “Buffy” and “Angel” with J.J. Abrams, as a writer for “Alias,” “Lost” and as the screenwriter for “Cloverfield.” It’s clear Goddard knows how to take modern horror and develop it into satire.

When talking with a fellow film critic afterward, we discussed how hard it would be to review the film without giving anything away. So with that being said, go see this film today before anyone ruins it for you.

Funny, surprising, smart and scary, “The Cabin in the Woods” is the movie we’ve been waiting for that changes the horror genre for the better.