The horror genre is a special one. There are a wide variety of movies in it. Does a horror movie have to be scary? Does it have to be gory? Can’t you just watch stupid kids get murdered? In fact, horror has a lot of conventions that are now well known by most people.
No one knows why those conventions are there, but they are. You know the stuff, the virgin survives, the black guy dies, stupid blondes, sex, the killer always comes back when you think he’s dead. Scream did a good job of deconstructing the genre and going into the “rules” of horror. Cabin in the Woods, however, tries to explain why those conventions are there.
It’s an ode to horror. You can tell Joss Whedon, producer and co-writer, and Drew Goddard, director and co-writer, are huge fans of the genre but are kind of fed up with some of the horror conventions. So they made their own film to appease themselves, and in the process they made a pretty awesome movie.
It starts out like this, a group of college-aged kids want to get away from their boring college lives so they go away to a cabin in the middle of the woods. By the way, the cast is pretty good. It’s lead by stand-out performances by Chris Hemsworth (this film got him Thor) and Kristen Connolly, along with two older actors that I won’t name because it would spoil it. Anyway, terrifying stuff then happens. Well, reverse that. Not terrifying. At least not to the viewer. Cabin in the Woods isn’t amazingly scary. It has its moments, but it’s no Paranormal Activity. Instead, this movie is packed with so much fun and so many twists that when the scary moments do come they have a little more impact.
Yeah, this movie has twists and turns. Where you start is where you end up. But you’ll never guess where this movie is going to go, the detours it takes or the story within a story structure that it grows into.
Watching this movie is kind of like listening to your MP3 player in shuffle mode. You genuinely don’t know what’s coming next, but you’ll probably like it. Or well, most of you like it. There is a chance some people will be freaked out by the movie going 180 on their minds so they might not like it. If you think you’re getting a scare-fest you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you go into it with an open mind and just want to enjoy the roller coaster ride that this film is you’ll experience one of the most original and fresh films in years.