Straight up, I’m putting it out there; The Cabin in the Woods (2012) is one of those films that you have to see to get. Revealing too much will wreck your viewing of the film. The basic plot is that five teenagers take a break to a cabin in the woods owned by a distant relative. On the way to the cabin in the woods, they stop to get gas and are confronted by an old man, clearly a redneck hillbilly, the likes of which we’ve seen in a gazillion films. He warns of the coming dangers and ends by insulting the group. Then, as the group leave the gas station, said redneck-hillbilly makes a telephone call to office employees, Sitterson and Hadley, a most excellent pairing of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. This is not our first clue that something is off, but the comedic promise of this film really lifts off from here. As Sitterson and Hadley laugh at the redneck-hillbilly’s passion, the audience is sitting there, wondering what in the Alliance is going on.
Cabin in the Woods is directed and written by new-comer Drew Goddard. Goddard collaborated with Joss Whedon to write this film and that’s why it works. Goddard had previously written for Whedon’s TV shows Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Having also done some writing for Alias and Lost, Goddard knows something about creating tension onscreen. Whedon’s clever and witty writing garnered much deserved plaudits following the creation of cultural phenomenon, TV show, Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.
There’s some scary moments in Cabin, though, it is by no means a straight-up horror. It’s a homage to horror films that uses comedy to great affect. If you liked Scream, you should try this. Whedonites should see it too. If you like your horror films, you’ll thank me when you see the fantastic elevator sequence towards the end of the film. It was my favourite film of 2012 and I’d love to know what you thought of it!