Trying to recover from her break-up with a professor, Dana (Kristen Connolly) reluctantly agrees to go on a vacation with three of her friends. Curt (Chris Hemsowrth) leads the trip to his cousin’s cabin in the woods. As a best friend, Curt’s girlfriend, Jules (Anna Hutchison) encourages Dana to hook up with the newcomer, Holden (Jesse Williams). And Marty (Fran Kranz) is the paranoid pot head.
Initially, Marty’s suspicions of ongoing experiments conducted by Big Brother are ignored, but the college students receive an unpleasant surprise one night. The group of friends must survive a zombie invasion, and mysterious traps prevent their escape from the countryside. Struggling to comprehend the bizarre nature of their dire situation, the remaining survivors realize the abnormal convenience of the attacks and traps, which leads them to one puzzling question: Who’s watching?
Drew Goddard is the director for this film, and he also co-wrote the screenplay with Joss Whedon. Goddard provides a few good jump scares as director, and The Cabin In The Woods is loaded with brutal gore and graphic violence. Plus, Goddard creates the perfect spooky nighttime atmosphere for this film.
What an incredible year for Joss Whedon. The Avengers lived up to the enormous hype, and The Cabin In The Woods will surely become a cult classic over time. The Cabin In The Woods is a unique satire of predictable horror clichés (mainly from the slasher genre), and the shocking conclusion provides an explanation for the routine stupid mistakes. As the experiment progresses, the true nature of The Director’s diabolical plan unfolds, and the constant twists and turns hooked me into the story. Goddard and Whedon provide the perfect balance of spooky horror and comical satire, so The Cabin In The Woods never reaches a “too silly point” where you can’t take the story seriously.
The entire cast is very solid, and everyone really nails the intentional stereotypes for their characters. Fran Kranz is hilarious, but Kristen Connolly delivers the strongest performance here. Chris Hemsowrth is a believable meathead/jock, Anna Hutchison is spot on as “The Whore,” and Jesse Williams is a convincing nerdy scholar. Plus, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford provide some good comic relief.
The Cabin In The Woods is a must-see for true horror fans. You’ll see the graphic and disgusting gore of a splatter film (especially during the bloody grand finale), and the comical satire of horror clichés raises some thought-provoking questions. It’s a total mind-fuck from beginning to end, and the puzzling story is loaded with shocking curveballs.
Final Rating: 10/10