Drew Goddard's directorial debut is a surprisingly fresh take on the horror genre. Co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, this film is a hilarious send-up on the slasher horror flick while never devolving into pure parody or spoof. In the vein of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series, The Cabin in the Woods tells its own story while acknowledging just about every horror cliche in existence. Except The Cabin in the Woods is more original in it's storytelling.
It's a little hard to discuss without spoiling the film's numerous surprises. Suffice it to say, there is lot more to the film than its setup would indicate. We spend much of the first act wondering if this is just another horror film, or if the talents of Goddard and Whedon have something up their sleeves. They do.
The film is fun from start to finish, but the final act goes wild with a barrage of action that will bring a smile to any horror fans face. It becomes clear here that the filmmakers aren't simply lampooning the horror genre, but also celebrating it.
And the ending... let's just say the film is not afraid to deliver the unexpected.
* * *
(out of four)