Monday, April 16 2012
A group of American high school students go for a drink, drug and sex-fuelled break in a remote cabin in the forest (so far, so cliché). The stereotypical athletic jock, lusty girlfriend, innocent heroine, black guy and stoner are all accounted for. However, far from being the most formulaic teenage slasher of all time, The Cabin in the Woods manages to turn the whole genre on its head.
The less you know about the content of this film, the better. For that reason, this review will not give away too much if you haven’t already seen it. Modern horror films have become something only hard core fans can enjoy, Drew Goddard's directorial debut clearly seeks to remedy that.
Co-written by Joss Whedon and Goddard, both of Buffy and Angel fame, Cabin seems like it was made by people who both love and hate predictable horror movies. All the usual clichés are there, but they are used as satirical comments on how weary audiences can see most things coming a mile away. At the same time, it revels in those clichés and there are plenty of knowing references to much-loved classics. It also touches on reality TV culture and the public’s apparent need to build people up just to bring them crashing back down again.
Hardened horror fans might feel that the film’s askance view of the genre compromises the impact of the violence and gore –it is only a 15 – but non-die hards will find it hugely entertaining. I’m not sure if Cabin will completely change how horrors are made from now on, but as a refreshing break from the norm, it works perfectly.