On another level it's a serious critique of what we love and what we don't about horror movies. I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful. The things that I don't like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had swung a little too far in that direction- Joss Whedon on The Cabin in the Woods (thanks Wikipedia!)
It's really hard to talk about The Cabin in the Woods without giving too much away. I avoided reading any reviews before going to see this film, and I am glad I did. Part of the fun is taking this ride which takes you to a really unexpected place.
So I will stick with just a few basic facts. Five college kids go to spend a weekend in the woods. Bad shit happens. Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon (Buffy nerds), The Cabin in the Woods was filmed in 2009 but not released until this year due to studio shenanigans. One of the stars, Chris Hemsworth, has since become better known as Thor, also known as my number two crush in The Avengers, right after Jeremy Renner and slightly before Tom Hiddleston (Loki). I swear The Avengers is woman porn.
One could call The Cabin in the Woods "horror fan porn". It is made for horror fans. Not just film: it helps if you are familiar with the work of Mr. H.P. Lovecraft. It pays homage to horror without being fucking annoying about it (I am looking at you Scream).
I can't tell you what it is, but trust me: there is one long sequence that will have horror fans squealing with delight! I could tell who the horror fans in the theatre were because they all sat upright and got rather jumpy. I know I did.
The Cabin in the Woods is a rare film that makes you actually "think" about the genre. What is the purpose? What is the point? Why do we love it? Have we become de-sensitized?
One more thing about this film: it is the funniest film I have seen all year, thanks in large part to Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as the "technicians." This will be a definite buy, as I could see myself visiting this cabin over and over and over.