Need a thrill? Head to the Woods

By Joey Martelli, MUSE staff writer

Filmmaker Joss Whedon never fails to disappoint.

With his latest contribution to an arguably dying genre, The Cabin in the Woods is out to make its mark with a fresh new take on horror. The Cabin in the Woods is an entirely different breed of horror film. Yet, for those who are connoisseurs of these films, there are still more than enough notable nods to trademark elements of his great horror films.

What seems like a not so innocent college trip to cabin out in a remote section of the woods, turns into a twisted nightmare with frightening secrets. Whedon cleverly works in an interesting subplot, which will certainly have viewers crawling in their seats from the very beginning. As these two stories mesh, some clarity is brought to the plot as a whole.

Viewers should pay close attention to what is going on and think critically about what exactly it is projected. Although the box offices classify this as a horror film, the twists and turns that The Cabin in the Woods takes slowly morphs it into something that doesn’t quite yet have a genre.

Whedon is genius. Part of what makes the film work so well is that the cast fits perfectly into Whedon’s cleverly sadistic plot. Cast members from popular TV shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy and Doll House (another of Whedon’s projects), all offer their own original take on the archetype characters of past horror films.

In addition to a well-rounded cast, the cinematography is brilliant. The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t feature the same old predictable camera angles, but rather shots that are intriguing, well placed and even angular at times. With Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost) on board as co-writer and director, none of this comes as a surprise. The comfort of having previously collaborated with Whedon and experience writing for the likes of J.J. Abrams prior, are clearly evident in Goddard’s work here.

A bit of advice prior to viewing the film: brush up on classic horror so you don’t miss Whedon’s allusions throughout. The Cabin in the Woods is sure to be one of the cleverest works that the genre will see for a while, and audiences won’t want to miss a beat. Complete with retractable coffee mug bongs, secret government involvement and an unexpected guest at the end, this film will certainly leave audiences with a bit of a fever.

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