Cabin In The Woods Thrills

Joss_Whedon_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpgBy Katie O’Donnell 3-29-2012
“The Cabin in the Woods” is a love letter to classic horror flicks. Writers Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) invite viewers to what seems like a spoof on horror flicks. It evolves into a story filled with monsters, clich├ęs and a touch of science fiction.
The movie starts off the way every good horror movie does, with five college aged friends going to a mysterious looking cabin in the woods. Evil Dead fans will recall the interior of the cabin as an homage to Sam Raimi’s classic.
The characters are the all to familiar archetypes of the horror genre. There’s the promiscuous blonde girl (Anna Hutchison) and her virginal friend (Kristen Conolly). There’s the jock (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth), the smart-guy (Jesse Williams) and the stoner who looks like Shaggy from Scoobie Doo. (Dollhouse fans will remember Fran Kranz.)
The writers pit the unassuming heroes against what appears to be a government agency led by veteran actors Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. Their behind the scenes meddling is what sets “The Cabin in the Woods” apart from its horror movie cousins. There’s a great cameo in the last 10 minutes of the film that made every fan-boy in the theater squeal.
But the real star of the film is the writing. Fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog” will be happy to see the same level of care and wit in this script. Even those unfamiliar with the Whedonverse will enjoy the well timed jokes and quips strewn throughout the dialogue. Whedon and Goddard are at the top of their game keeping the characters real and the blood level delightfully over the top without making it look like a Quentin Tarantino knock off. Whedon is famous for character development in his films and shows, and this script doesn’t fall back on a deux ex machina to drive the story.
“The Cabin in the Woods” takes the story we’re seen a dozen times over and rehashes it into a unique and fun experience. You don’t have to be a horror fan to enjoy it, but you may get more of the inside jokes.