As a long time Horror fan I am very familiar with some of the cliche plot lines of the Horror Genre. Hmmm….how many of us recognize this plot?… Five College kids including a Jock, a Stoner, a Slut, a Brainy Guy, and a Sweet Virgin all climb into an old RV and decide to go stay at a relative’s secluded cabin in the woods by a serene lake. They drive a long time to get to the remote cabin and only find one gas station on the way, where the creepy old owner warns them not to go to the cabin? The truth is the Horror Genre is full of cliche plots like this, but as fans we ignore the obvious and inevitable tired storyline, just hoping for some witty dialogue and creative death scenes. Don’t worry Cabin in the Woods is filled with plenty of witty dialogue and thrills any Horror fan will love.
Cabin in the Woods is written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, who worked together before on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Whedon and Goddard know the Horror Genre well and pay tribute to it with several references to the films we all know and love. It would be easy and really fun to name off all the film references found in Cabin, but then I would be ruining all the fun for you. Whedon and Goddard are able to poke fun at Horror cliches and at the same time explain why the characters in our favorite movies always seem to do the most stupid things over and over again. I haven’t seen a film so obviously poke fun at the Horror Genre since Wes Craven’s Scream came out. This movie is not just a simple parody like Scream, but has a whole lot more to offer. Cabin doesn’t just make fun of the cliches, but actually explains why they are there in the first place. My best advice is to avoid any kind of spoilers before going to see Cabin in the Woods, even the Trailer gives away too much information in my opinion.
The main thing I loved about Cabin in the Woods was just how Whedonesque it was. It was like Joss Whedon thought “What sort of film can I make for my fans that they will love?” and then proceeds to put in everything his fans loved about all his previous TV shows and movies into the film. I have been a huge fan of Joss Whedon since the very first Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie came out starring Donald Sutherland. I have watched all his TV shows and movies faithfully when they were on, so I was thrilled with all the references to Buffy and Angel and the familiar faces from the TV shows. Make sure to do your homework by watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse before going to see Cabin, so you enjoy all the subtle references about them. Even if you haven’t seen all of Joss Whedon’s previous work you will love all the Horror movie easter eggs and the layers that were added to the typical slasher plot.
This movie is pretty much a love letter to the Horror fan. Cabin is so clever that you will probably never watch a Horror film the same way again. It somehow adds a whole new layer to the entire Genre. In a Genre, that is filled with Found Footage and Torture Porn lately, this movie was a breath of fresh air and I really hope up and coming filmmakers will take notice. Maybe Cabin will start a whole new subgenre of smart, witty, and creative films that will bring Horror back to the fun filled days of the 80s films? I know, I know, I am just wishing and dreaming…but it could happen, right?