Directed by Drew Goddard
Genre: Mystery and suspense horror
Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard
Dana: Kristen Connolly
Jules: Ana Hutchinson
Holden: Jesse Williams
Curt: Chris Hemsworth
Marty: Fran Kranz
Five college students, Dana, Jules, Holden, Curt and Marty, want to spend a weekend far from the civilised world, in the middle of nowhere. Curt’s cousin owes a cabin in the woods near a small lake which seems like a perfect location. They arrive there, explore the old building and find a creepy basement with all kinds of ‘toys’, a hand-written diary among them. When Dana reads some Latin verses from it she seals their destiny. Bad things are going to happen soon and they’ve just chosen how they are going to die. Or maybe not?
This is a movie best seen with a minimum of foreknowledge, so I’ll try to spoil as little as possible while explaining why I liked this one.
First of all there are two interwoven narratives taking place simultaneously: the one in the woods with the kids goofing around and another, at a secret bunker of the military-industrial complex, where two beleaguered company men, along with a large cadre of technicians, accountants, interns, and various other drones, are hard at work, doing—well, something spooky and definitely secret, perhaps even illegal. Soon enough you are not sure whether the whole premise is a practical joke, invented by some goverment people, or something more sinister.
It is obvious Whedon and Goddard revel in toying with audience expectation, messing with archetypes, taking genres, chewing them up (while biting that tongue in their cheeks) then spitting them back out again in some glisteningly new form. For the most part it’s a hoot, tailor-made for those out there who like to whoop at the kills rather than vicariously drench themselves in primal terror and gore. The dialogue is sharp, poking good-natured fun at horror traditions with a twist. I admit that the spooky underground corridors, chilly vision of the future and skilful blending of horror with social comment recall a bit Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Now about the ending. The Cabin In The Woods ends up as the more biting satire on the entertainment industry, man’s appetite for violence and older people’s love-hate relationship with youth. Let me also assure you that I’m not spoiling anything by saying that. It’s clear from very early on that our two boffins are desensitised workers in an entertainment machine that regards human life as something that can be cavalierly ended in order to appease the audience.Who and what that audience is, the movie leaves teasingly uncertain until a big guest star cameo reveals all — but it may not be the answer you’re expecting.