Movie: Cabin in the Woods
Creators: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams
When it comes to horror movies, I’m a lightweight. I can’t handle gore, or anticipation, or normally adorable little girls contorting themselves into grotesque positions. It takes a perfect storm to get me to watch a movie with any of the above characteristics, let alone all of them.
Cabin in the Woods is such a storm.
A unique blend of old school monster mash and the modern teen sex and gore fest, Cabin in the Woods is a horror movie to cross genre lines. The movie ran a proverbial gauntlet to leave the post production stage such that when filming wrapped in 2009, its male lead, Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) was best known for a cameo in Star Trek and a stint on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars.
On the surface, the movie’s premise seems overly done at best and trite at worst: five college students go to a cabin for spring break and wacky zombie hijinks ensue. It seems familiar in every element, right down to the characters (hot dumb girl, hot jock boy, hot smart boy, hot nerd girl, hot stoner boy), and the toothless gas attendant that warns them not to go into the woods.
However, as the film progresses it is revealed that the horrific events that occur in the cabin are manipulated by several “technicians” who casually release blood thirsty zombies while placing bets about who comes out alive. These technicians are only some of many across the globe who are working to prevent a mysterious catastrophic event by picking off each of the archetypes (the athlete, the whore, the scholar, the fool, and the virgin) to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Even after hearing the extent of the plot, I was dubious. What sold me was the creator, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dr. Horrible’s Sing a Long Blog). Anyone who has seen Buffy knows that a work of Whedon has two signature elements: great monsters (of which Cabin in the Woods has a veritable barrage) and a healthy dose of wit, heroism, and general badassery.
Overall, Cabin in the Woods implements a duality in film that is often attempted, but rarely successful: a gory slasher façade that hides a genuinely awesome science fiction epic.
Cabin in the Woods comes out on DVD, BluRay, and Netflix on September 18.