The Cabin in the Woods is as inventive of a film as we’ve seen in years. Director Drew Goddard and his co-writer Joss Whedon -- whose The Avengers arrives in exactly three weeks -- have outdone themselves on so many levels with this horror story. And that description of the film as "horror" is simply the first layer of the maze that is this masterpiece.
Chris Hemsworth, also soon to be seen in The Avengers reprising his role of Thor, leads a group of college kids for a little R&R in the forest. As seen in The Cabin in the Woods trailer, their first indication to turn around had to be when they encounter a local who is as frightening as they come. As he famously says in the teaser when they ask for directions to the remote abode, “I can get you there. Getting back, that’s your concern.”
When the quintet arrives at their destination, they have found blissful beauty of the most natural of orders. By darkness, that dream of tranquility is dashed.
That is all you’ll get out of Movie Fanatic when it comes to the plot. The film is so original, even describing a bit more than seen in the trailers and The Cabin in the Woods clips is way too much. Just know this: You think you know this film? Think again. It’s a genre-busting bonanza of thrills and scares with a mind-blowing storyline that reminds us exactly why we chose the cinema as our form of entertainment escape.
Whedon, along with his partner in cinematic crime Drew Goddard, continues to amaze. To call their creation a horror film is too narrow a scope of description. It is a thriller, yes, but that too fails to capture the experience of sitting in the dark witnessing this marvel. Their command of the genres and subgenres of film and movie history is seen throughout. How wild does this Cabin get? It is a jaw-dropping moment after moment.
Stealing the show around every turn is the work of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. The duo's roles should remain a mystery, but know this: If the DVD and Blu-Ray have any deleted or additional scenes with those two and their repartee, it would be manna from heaven. Their Hadley and Sitterson are like an old married couple, who just happen to have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in the most fantastical film to hit theaters yet in 2012.