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Josh Reviews The Cabin in the Woods

So, yeah, we all know that Joss Whedon (mastermind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and many more pieces of beloved work) co-wrote and directed Marvel’s huge film The Avengers, opening in a few weeks (and which I am desperately anticipating).  But did you realize that he was also involved in a horror film, The Cabin in the Woods, that was made back in 2009?

Yep!  Mr. Whedon co-wrote the screenplay with Drew Goddard (a frequent collaborator with Mr. Whedon who was also an author on Lost and the co-writer of Cloverfield), who made his directorial debut with the film.  Unfortunately, the movie was never released by MGM, due to the studio’s financial turmoil.  Eventually the film was sold to Lionsgate and finally released a few weeks ago.

Go see it.  Go see it right now!

Don’t let anyone tell you anything about it.  Don’t read any reviews.  (Really — I’m going to be super-vague but I invite you to stop reading this piece.)  For goodness sake don’t watch any of the trailers.  Just trust Joss Whedon and trust me and go see this film.

It’s almost impossible to write about The Cabin in the Woods without spoiling any of the wonderful surprises.  There are some great actors in the film that I had no idea were in the film.  They’re extraordinary, but I don’t even want to name their names!

So what CAN I say?  I’ll say that the scene that interrupts the opening credits made me think that I was pretty sure I was going to like this film.  Then there’s the moment, much much later in the film, when all the elevators open at once.  Five seconds later, I was pretty much convinced that The Cabin in the Woods was the greatest friggin’ movie I’d ever seen!

Well, with some further reflection, it’s clear that The Cabin in the Woods is not, in fact, the greatest friggin’ movie I’ve ever seen.

But it is damn good.

The film is a deliriously clever twist on the horror genre.  I don’t really like horror films, but I dug the heck out of the Cabin in the Woods. It is a horror film, don’t get me wrong.  There are real scares and some grisly deaths.  This is NOT a sweet romantic comedy!!  So there are certainly aspects of the film that I know won’t appeal to everyone.  But the film is based on an absolutely genius idea, and the main delight of the film is watching the petals of that genius idea slowly unfurl, and as the realization slowly dawns on the viewer and on one or two of the main characters as to what is really going on, that delight grows steadily.  When the film’s batshit crazy final half-hour arrives, I was gleeful.  There are so many wonderful moments in the film, none of which I will dare spoil for you here.

I’ll just comment that the harbinger’s phone call is so great I can’t stand it.

As is the collective “AAWWWWWW!!”

Am I tantalizing you enough??  If you’re up a brave movie-goer, buckle-up and buy a ticket for The Cabin in the Woods. I’m telling you, gang, this one is a winner.

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