Starring Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, and Richard Jenkins. Rated 18A.
The Cabin in the Woods is crammed with so many twists and turns that the mere thought of reviewing it and ruining the fun for others is scary in and of itself. But I don’t feel bad about revealing at least one huge surprise: it’s the best horror flick ever made in Vancouver.
A gaggle of attractive young victims-to-be head out for some weekend fun in what looks like your typical Friday the 13th–style slaughterfest, but for some reason the group’s every move is being tracked by a shadowy team using state-of-the-art gadgetry. The operation is overseen in a NASA-like control room by a pair of total dickheads—brilliantly played by Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) and Bradley Whitford (TV’s The West Wing)—whose manipulations drive the action once the human lab rats arrive at the titular location.
Why, exactly, these two assholes subject their innocent prey to deadly torment won’t be exposed here, but the hoops the victims are forced to jump through in order to survive (if they’re lucky) makes for some of the most exhilarating horror action since Scream revitalized the genre back in 1996.
Working from an idea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Joss Whedon, cowriter and director Drew Goddard goes hilariously nutzoid, testing people’s preconceptions of scary movies while at the same time questioning humanity itself. Things just keep getting wilder and more intense as the shocks and bodies pile up, but the entertainment level never wavers. The Cabin in the Woods really is the most fun you can have at the movies with your clothes on.
Watch the trailer for The Cabin in the Woods.