On Friday the 13th, I’m always in the mood for a good horror flick. Planning to stay home and watch Jason Voorhees murder lecherous teens, we decided to head to the local multiplex and check out Joss Whedon’s and Drew Goddard’s innovative horror movie The Cabin in the Woods. No doubt by this point, you’ve heard about the twists and turns in this film (hopefully you haven’t had them spoiled). Some say it’s overrated, others say it’s genius.
I loved this film. It was tailor-made for a horror fan like me, with its mix of old-school scares and humor. The plot seems simple: a group of college co-eds head to the mountains to a cabin. That, however, isn’t what we see first–Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins (and a familiar face to Angel fans) walking through a large facility. What’s the connection? That’s the fun part. Suffice it to say, the machinations of horror the group encounters aren’t a coincidence. Still, that could be a simple film, and I’ve had people ask me if it is like Saw. (It’s not. It has more in common with ’80s horror films than with anything from the past 15 years.)
The film draws much from horror movie archetypes: the virgin, the whore, the jock, the stoner, and the smarty pants, and if not handled properly, these archetypes could have been pedestrian. In this case, though, those archetypes are much more important to the story than I’ve seen. The innovation in the design of this world is incredible, and the twists and turns you’ll encounter are a refreshing alternative to the formulaic horror films we’ve seen in the past few years.
Go see this movie. It’s perfect for an afternoon matinee, or even a trip to the drive-in, if you’re fortunate enough to still have one in your area. When you go see it, though, don’t ruin it for your buddies. Let them experience it for themselves.