MovieMantz Review: 'Cabin In The Woods'

“Cabin in the Woods”
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly
Directed by Drew Goddard

In the new horror thriller “Cabin in the Woods,” five friends – a jock, a tramp, a pothead, a gentleman and a virgin – go to, well, a cabin in the woods that’s way out in the middle of nowhere. The cabin is very creepy, they find all sorts of odd things in the cellar and then strange things start happening.

With a setup like that, “Cabin in the Woods” might sound like one mighty big horror film cliche that’s just waiting to happen. But if you think you know where this movie is going, then you have no idea what you’re in for – and that’s the beauty of it.

Covering just about every horror movie stereotype established over the last 45 years – from older classics like “Night of the Living Dead” and “Halloween” to more modern thrillers like “The Evil Dead” and “The Grudge” – “Cabin in the Woods” puts them all in a blender that’s locked on overdrive and whips up the most twisted, wicked and insanely entertaining sendup of the genre since 1996’s “Scream.”

Not bad for a movie that’s been sitting on the shelf since 2009. After the film’s original distributor MGM went belly-up, “Cabin in the Woods” became something of an orphan – much to the dismay of producer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard (both of whom also co-wrote the smart screenplay).

But then Lionsgate came to the rescue, and the timing could not have been any more perfect. Lionsgate is on fire right now, thanks to the huge $152.5 million opening of its newest franchise, “The Hunger Games.” And Chris Hemsworth, who plays the jock, is much more well-known to moviegoers after starring in last year’s “Thor.”

From clever plot twists to unexpected cameos to deliberately cheesy special effects to a tongue-in-cheek allegory about Reality TV, “Cabin in the Woods” is full of surprises – so the less you know about it, the better. Suffice to say the film goes from being wild and crazy to totally outrageous, building to a fever pitch that’s as far from being predictable as a movie could possibly get.

As a result, “Cabin in the Woods” is loads of fun – and, like I said, that’s the beauty of it.

Verdict: SEE IT!

-- Scott Mantz

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