Stuck in release hell since filming wrapped in 2009 (due to MGM going bankrupt), 2012 will finally see the liberation of The Cabin in the Woods, the love letter to horror from Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumni Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, onto the big screen.
Normally, we would tell you a little bit about the plot, but to give anything away about this film would be doing a major disservice to both you and the production itself. The less knowledgeable you are about it going into the cinema, the better. The tagline reads “Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen.” That’s all you need to know as far as the plot goes. The script, co-written by Whedon and Goddard, is sharp and witty and accommodates pretty much every single trope and cliché you could possibly associate with horror films in general, but it does so with style and at no point during the feature running time will you feel bored or jaded.
Brilliantly funny when it wants to be, scary and gory when it needs to be, The Cabin in the Woods has everything from nudity to dumb decisions made in a remote locale before becoming a real game-changer. There‘s no real twist being hidden to spring onto the viewer here, with the story given away pretty much straight from the very first scene – the only thing is that there are more layers which are revealed over the course of the film’s duration.
With a knowing nod to almost every single horror film you can think of, without coming even close to falling into parody or rehashing dull old ground, the film is extremely well-paced and definitely doesn’t outstay its welcome. The only negative was the somewhat patchy CGI effects in some of the closing scenes, but when you realise the scope which the creators were aiming for and the meagre budget that they were working with, you can forgive such a shortcoming. It is incredibly refreshing that this was an independent picture, with little-to-no interference from the studios and it shows. Whedon and Goddard know their target audience and, most importantly, they know the genre that they’re working in like the backs of their hands. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised when this is released and you may just find yourself having a new favourite horror film. Without a doubt, it is the must-see horror of 2012. Simply stunning!