‘Cabin in the woods’ isn’t what you expect

By Glenn Battishill

It’s a story as old as time itself; five college students; a jock, nerd, hot girl, sensitive girl and stoner go into the woods and are murdered by a mysterious monster.

It’s in this subgenre that “Cabin in the woods” exists as an object of meta-humor, a horror film that pokes fun of horror films just like it, much like “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz.”

The movie was shot back in 2009 and then sat on a shelf while MGM sorted out their financial troubles until 2011 when plans to post-convert it to 3D were scrapped and it finally got a release date in 2012.

This might come to a surprise to some of you who have seen the trailer, which sells the movie as a much darker take on the entire genre. This makes the whole situation funnier when the movie’s hilarious side begins to show.

The script was co-written by nerd god, Joss Whedon, and “Cloverfield” writer, Drew Goddard and walks the balance of comedy and horror very well. The characters are all multidimensional and while each fits into the standard stereotype of the genre they all manage to have an extra layer to them.

It’s hard to talk about what makes this movie good without ruining anything but suffice to say that it is the most fun I’ve had at a movie theater in a long, long time.

The cast is superb and every character is surprisingly well developed throughout the movie.

As a result of the delay between filming and release Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel cinematic universe, looks really young and odd without his thunder-god garb and flowing golden locks.

Kristen Connolly is top billed cast and she really shines in what is sure to be a star-making role. Fran Kranz is really the star of the show as the lovable conspiracy-believing stoner, Marty, who delivers 85 percent of the hilarious lines.

The other 15 percent, and possibly the best performances in the film, are Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as the puppeteers seemingly leading the young adults to their demise but treating it like any other job.

The film like it’s British cousins, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” is literally covered head to toe with references to other horror films like “Evil Dead” and “Wrong Turn” and there are several shots in the film so cluttered with references that I spent an hour trying to find screen shots of the movie so I could catch all the other references.

The irony of the film is that in an attempt to be a generic cabin in the woods movie it has become the most original cabin in the woods movie since “Evil Dead” and has taken a high spot on my favorite movies ever.

Do yourself a favor and see this film.