Writer Joss Whedon’s (The Avengers) deconstruction of the contemporary horror film manages to deliver the thrills of a teens-get-sliced scenario while piling on big laughs with meta-punchlines.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
If you want to watch a film that takes all your perceptions of the horror genre (the riches and the clichés), then rewrites the genre’s laws and creates an entirely new universe, full of twists, shocks and, most surprisingly, big laughs, then there’s a Cabin in the Woods with your name on it. New Zealand horror/Buffy/Avengers fans went Hulk-apalooza to get Joss Whedon’s acclaimed genre subversion onto the giant Embassy screen where it belongs. If you can avoid reading up on this film in advance, your enjoyment of the shenanigans that lie ahead will increase tenfold. We begin as an archetypal group of college students – the jock, the scholar, the slut (NZ’s own Anna Hutchison), the funny pothead and the virgin (sounds familiar right?) – gather at a remote cabin for fun and games. But before a bong is hit or a top removed, this classic horror structure begins to crumble and the meta-fun of Whedon and Goddard’s playful script comes blazing into full effect.
The film manages to effectively comment on and embrace the types of films it’s dissecting, along with inside winks to Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Clive Barker, Stephen King and J-Horror. Now it’s up to local fans to make one more compelling statement that there is a theatrical market for intelligent horror films by turning up en masse and blowing the roof off the Embassy. — AT
“If Scream was a meta-hack-’em-up, Cabin takes five giant steps back to reveal a wider canvas, gleefully jumbling together every kind of modern horror picture, paranoid-conspiracy thrillers, Matrix-style sci-fi, and a dollop of H.P. Lovecraft.” — David Edelstein, New York Magazine