SXSW Review: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

by Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Not even standing in line, getting soaked in a torrential downpour could dampen my exuberance for this film.  This is the film I had anticipated the most out of the entire line-up.  The name Joss Whedon, alone, had me hooked from the beginning.  As a fan and admirer of his previous work (FIREFLY, SERENITY), I knew this film would not disappoint.  Co-writing with Drew Goddard (writer of CLOVERFIELD) who also directs the picture, Whedon takes the horror genre, turns it upside down, inside out, pokes fun, but also whole heartedly celebrates it with a story that has a twist so completely unexpected, that I watched in awe as it played out.  I promise not to spoil this twist, because I really feel that the less one knows about this film, the greater the impact it will have.

The film starts out as a typical, cliché horror in the woods flick with the usual archetypes of the slutty sexy girl (Anna Hutchison), the jock (Chris Hemsworth), the brain (Jesse Williams), the virgin (Jodelle Ferland), and the stoner (Fran Kranz) taking a trip at in the woods for a weekend. These college buddies hope to get away for the weekend, but discover all is not right with the spooky, possibly haunted cabin where they are staying.  The kids end up fighting for their life and try to get to the bottom of what is happening to them.

I highly recommend this movie for mainly fans of horror, but I can honestly see non-fans enjoying this as well.   The script by Goddard and Whedon is incredible and full of thrills, laughs and surprises galore.  The film also features solid performances by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.  Goddard, Whedon, Jenkins, Whitford, Hutchison, and Ferland were in attendance at the screening.  They all obviously had a great time making this movie and the audience at the Paramount had a blast as well.

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