The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - Drew Goddard

Ocena recenzenta: 8/10

I went into this film knowing nothing about it apart from a simple synopsis that five (typically American attractive and older looking) teenagers/college 'kids' decide to go up to a cabin in the woods for a weekend break. No trailers, no reviews and to be honest it's probably best to come into the film knowing as little about it as possible. As a fan of the horror genre I really enjoyed the film. It is very, very good.

With a smart and surprisingly funny script by Joss Whedon you are in the rare position of actually rooting for the teenagers in the film and not gleefully awaiting the inevitable slapstick/gruesome death. Meta-commentary in horror has been overused recently; Scream started the craze and by Scream 4 it looked played out and tired and yet Whedon has managed to put a fresh impetus to it. He provides us with the standard character archetypes and subverts them as well as a lot of the typical horror conventions. Typical of Whedon's work there is subtext there as well as the loosinging of the rein to let things go crazy at the appropriate time. There are a raft of references packed in for horror fans to spot but it works just as well as a film for everyone else.

The cast is packed with quite a few Whedon alumni. The standout character is obviously Kranz (as the stoner, also Topher in the short loved DollHouse TV show) who provides the knowing and quite funny snarking. But there are quite a few colourful characters here and the jokes almost without fail hit their mark. Helmsworth, pre Thor, is pretty likeable though it is amusing to see how here he almost looks like Post-Thor Helmsworth's little brother. Must be some exercise regime. The two girls are your typical hot one and the 'virgin' one who are fine. Bradley Whitford is great and has the funniest payoff in the entire film. And the film is full of clever scenes and funny dialogue. Whedon knows horror and he puts it all into play with a script that is bursting with inventiveness and wit.

Directed with some style by Goddard the run time flew by and while the last third was I felt slightly weaker than the preceeding material it was never less than enjoyable. Considering the dearth of quality horror recently this, while I can't see it being a 'game-changer' or 'genre-defying', as some of the hype seems to suggest, is still an expertly crafted film that succeeds in its aims to deconstruct and comment on aspects of the genre in a knowledgeable way.