So, I saw Cabin in the Woods almost a week ago and have been reading tons and tons of stuff on the web about it and talking to other friends that have seen it, but I haven’t been able to write a review. I think that’s because if I really talk about what I thought, I will spoil the film. Yes, I know I do that sometimes, but so much of the awesome of this movie relies on it being unspoiled. It’s clear it’s about sacrifice from the opening credits (and trailer) and that it’s not just a simple “big bad” horror film. There are people running the show and weird electric boundaries and elevators and… well, I can’t tell you and what else without giving too much away.
I will say that if you like Joss Whedon’s self-aware style of genre-tv and film, you will love this. It’s so much more an exploration of tropes (both horror and myth and religious) than a “scary movie.” In fact, I didn’t find it very frightening, beyond the concepts behind the titular cabin in the woods and the weekend that spells doom for the young, beautiful archetypes who stay there. In some ways, Cabin in the Woods feels like an extended Buffy episode, but without the character development that many episodes give you. It also felt like a conversation about films more than an actual film. Like, I really enjoyed the conversation the film was having and that it sparked amongst viewers, but I’m not sure I can say that it’s a good movie.
Still, I highly recommend going and seeing it. It’s definitely a fun time at the movies. And an even funner time for Whedonites like myself and others who like to geek out over tropes and archetypes and other annoying film study words like that.
PS If you want a film that is both a satire of genre films and a great movie, watch Shaun of the Dead. It is spot-on all around.