Right, where do I begin with The Cabin in the Woods?
It's a movie written and directed by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and Joss Whedon. The basic premise is one you’ll be familiar with, a group of friends decide to take a break and spend their vacation ‘off the grid’ within a cabin deep in the woods. Sounds like your average slasher horror right? Think again! We have the standard horror trope characters - the virgin, the stoner, the jock, the intellectual and the slut. But as the group start to discover the mysteries of the cabin, the layers are pealed away for us as well. You will reach a point where you feel like you’ve guessed the endgame, think again! As everything is turned up another notch and we start to hit batshit crazy territory!
And to be honest that is all I can tell you about the story without spoiling it. I would even go as far to say avoid all further buzz about this movie. Just go and watch it fresh, hell don’t even watch the trailer and definitely avoid spoilers!
Shockingly the filming for the movie actually began in 2009 under MGM studios, but due to the studio filing for bankruptcy in 2010 the movie never reached release. So there it sat, gathering dust until thankfully Lionsgate decided to pick it up. The script only took Whedon and Goddard three days to write and they’ve both expressed that it’s a devotion to classic horror. They feel that a lot of the modern day horror movies have moved a little too close to sadistic torture porn and are actually missing what makes horror great.
Goddard had previously written episodes of both Buffy and Angel with Joss but also Alias and Lost with J.J. Abrams. And trust me it shows, this was his directorial debut (with Joss working second unit) but you wouldn’t have guessed it. Their script and the way the direction is handled is exceptional, layers of tension, action and comedy all built upon each other. They definitely work to show you that the best way to break the rules is to first, know how they work.
All the actors in the group fulfill their allotted roles wonderfully, Kristen Connolly as the slightly shy and nerdy friend who would rather stay and study but is being dragged along anyway. Fran Kranz as the massive stoner who has a different and more paranoid view on life. Chris Hemsworth as the leader and sports star boyfriend. Jesse Williams as his more intellectual best friend and Anna Hutchison as the very outgoing girlfriend whose talent for kissing stuffed animal heads was so raunchy it gave me a bit of a husband bulge!
I cannot finish without mentioning some other noteworthy performances, particularly Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) as long suffering co-workers but also lets not forget the awesome Whedon-verse regulars Amy Acker and Tom Lenk make great additions as well. Plus a very special, nudge your friend, jaw dropping cameo...but shhh thats enough of that!
Lets just say if you go down to the woods on April 13th you’ll sure to be in for a big surprise!
Stefan Harkins wants that bong dammit!