Director: Drew Goddard
MPAA Rating: (R)
Studio: Mutant Enemy Production
Don’t read this review, seriously. Instead, get yourself to the nearest theater showing the horror comedy The Cabin in the Woods. Really, stop reading and just go. Okay, read if you must. It won't spoil a thing for you to know that the flick is about a creepy rural cabin and a gaggle of deliberately clichéd, good-to-look-at horror movie college types like a philosophical stoner (Fran Kranz), a good girl blonde (Kristen Connolly), a bookish black dude (Jesse Williams), a stud (Chris Hemsworth), and one of the stud’s hot girlfriends (Anna Hutchison).
With blood-lusty killer, hillbilly zombies on the prowl, go in expecting sex, good times, a predictable pile of corpses and lots of hellacious good fun in spoofing of the genre. After every possible spooky movie convention gets ticked-off box by box—high-voltage shocks, tension, vats of blood and scares—the whole thing gets blown sky high in fresh, entertaining and unexpected directions. We'd assume no less from a movie co-written and produced by geek god Joss Whedon and directed by first-timer Drew Goddard, a writer of Lost and Alias, who doesn't miss a trick in making the transition from page to stage.
The movie is one wonderfully, maze-like con game—especially in the crowd-pleasing scenes featuring corporate drones Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. Its makers aim straight for the audience’s funny bone, gray matter and nerd center. The ending may leave some ticket-buyers scratching their heads, but you’d best check into The Cabin in the Woods for big laughs, jolts and a head-spinning final 20 minutes of insanely ridiculous monster flick fun. You may leave the theater with a mile-wide grin!
About the Author
Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2012. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.