May 3, 2012
"A Cabin in the Woods" had received so much critical praise as an excellent horror film, so this horror movie fan could not resist a bait like that. I did not read anything about the plot nor have I seen the trailer before going into the theater this morning. What can I say, this must be one of the most convoluted horror stories ever put in screen!
It starts with a couple of old guys (one of them Richard Jenkins) in an unspecified company talking about their mundane lives. Then, the scene cuts to some college kids (one of them Chris Hemsworth) who were about to go on a road trip. It is only later when you see the connection between these two disparate sets of characters. We would then see a situation seen in countless horror flicks where the characters are trapped in a lonely cabin in the God-forsaken woods where they are killed off one by one by zombie rednecks. But is that all there really is to it? Not by a long shot!
The five college kids are stereotypical of what we see in practically every horror movie we had ever seen before: the whore, the athlete, the scholar, the fool and the virgin. Cliché you say, but this literally multi-layered script by wunderkind writer Joss Whedon (who just gave us the masterpiece called "The Avengers") and Director Drew Goddard would actually attempt to explain why these five characters should be present in all horror movies all over the world. I know that sentence probably made no sense, but that is the main premise of this over-reaching screenplay. You would never imagine what the bigger story would be, and who actually gets to deliver the explanatory lines towards the end.
Acting is not a focus here, and it may actually be intentionally bad as a send-up to most horror flicks. The character of Chris Hemsworth could actually be played by any jock actor and it would not have made a difference. The computer-generated effects were excellent especially in the grand mayhem scenes where practically all the horror creatures of movie lore make a gory appearance. This movie had an ambitious conceit which would be the main bone of contention of those who like and dislike this complicated film: Do you buy Whedon's wild theory about horror movies or not? I certainly liked it and I'm buying it.