Cabin in the Woods

This past weekend I actually went out to the movie theatre for the first time in… well, awhile. The film that lured me was Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon, and it was absolutely worth the time and money.

It was also a complete surprise, in several ways.

First, check out this trailer:

Now, armed with publicly-available information, I feel comfortable commenting without being accused of posting spoilers.

So, let me start by saying that I hadn’t seen this trailer or learned much of anything about the story before seeing the film. All I knew was that a ton of friends had posting glowing praise for the movie on Facebook, so I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.

The movie opens with two seemingly separate story lines… There are the college kids going to a cabin (in the woods!) for a weekend of adventure, and then a couple of nerdy guys in a lab. Knowing nothing about the film, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they fit together in the same movie.

Despite opening this review with the trailer, I still want to preserve as much suspense and surprise as possible for any readers who haven’t seen the film… So I’ll just say that they’re absolutely related, and astute viewers/readers are probably way ahead of me already.

The movie is a bizarre collection of horror, suspense, comedy, fantasy/sci-fi, and nearly every other movie genre. It charmingly blends classic slasher film with conspiracy theory suspense and spooky fantasy shocker.

It also not only uses but actively exploits and even lovingly teases the clichés you’d expect from each of those genres. In fact, the plot is actually based on the notions that clichés can be pretty powerful, when put to good use. Think “Scream” but with a much grander scale.

And surprisingly, the acting is pretty first-rate for most of the performers. There’s even a shockingly glorious moment towards the end when you hear a voice over a loudspeaker, and your eyes widen when you realize who the actor is. (I really encourage you not to look up the cast, if you don’t already know who I mean. Seriously. Wait for the surprise.)

Cabin in the Woods surprised me not only with a unique story, unexpected plot twists, and a strong cast… It also surprised me by just how good the overall movie was. I laughed, I jumped in my seat, I gasped aloud… And I’ve been thinking and/or talking about the movie for days.

Go see Cabin in the Woods. Do not wait for Netflix. See it in theaters with your favorite film buff. And then call me, ’cause I have a lot more to say about it with people who’ve seen it.

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