The Cabin in the Woods opens with images of ancient, tribal rituals that depict humans being sacrificed. The inclusion of Goya’s ghastly painting Saturn Devouring his Son cued me to think this story isn’t just going to be about some horny kids at a cabin. Instead, I anticipated something bigger and darker than any Friday the 13th flick. And oh, boy, was I right.
A deliciously twisty horror movie, Cabin indulges in a multilayered universe that will give Inception a run for its money. Yes, five typical co-eds go to the woods, but don’t think the biggest threat comes from a psychotic slasher-dude with a chainsaw. Kristen Connelly plays the (almost) virginal Dana, a good girl with a healthy fear of the dark. Hottie Chris Hemsworth plays Curt, the dumb jock with an ever-present "husband's bulge." During a game of truth or dare, Dana discovers a creepy basement with a treasure trove of enticing artifacts begging the visitors to conjure spirits (or worse). A jewelry box with a pale ballerina slowly spinning, dozens of mysterious movie reels and a girl’s diary from the 1800s create fully crapulent creep. But there’s lots of humor as well. The filmmakers Joss Whedon (Buffy) and Drew Goddard (Lost) actually shot the film in 2009 but the release was put on hold during MGM’s foray into bankruptcy. Horror fans everywhere are excited to see this long-awaited film open today.
For fear of spoiling anyone’s viewing experience, I’ll stay tight-lipped about the rest of the details and which grande dame of horror makes a fabulous cameo.
Bottom line: If horror is your thing, you’ll love Cabin in the Woods for its ability to flip old horror clichés on their heads while managing not to take itself too seriously.
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