If you remember back to when the original Scream movie opened, it was considered a genre-changer, a rare gem – but I’m going to go ahead and put it out there that The Cabin in the Woods eclipses anything that Scream did. The Cabin in the Woods not only changes the way the game will be played in the future, but it changes how you will look at horror movies of the past. Let me explain.
The plot to The Cabin in the Woods cannot be described without revealing many major spoilers. To refrain from ruining its secrets for you, I will only talk about the bare-bones plot as it appears in the trailers: a group of college-age partiers head to a secluded cabin in the woods for a weekend. Just like Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies, something rises from the darkness and commences an attack on our central characters and their cabin – only nothing is as it seems. From the opening scene of the movie, we learn about the sci-fi-ish storyline (visuals of which are shown in the trailers without any explanation whatsoever) that also plays a large role in the movie. Via this part of the film, we see why horror movies unfold the way they do. What’s explained here can be applied to 90 percent of the horror movies out there. The virgins, the drugs, the tripping while running for their lives – it’s all explained. If you go back and watch horror movies of old, you’re going to be thinking of The Cabin in the Woods‘ explanation for what goes on. To put it simply, it’s brilliant.
What you don’t get from the trailers is how much comedy lies within The Cabin in the Woods. I laughed harder during this movie than I did with most of the comedies released in the last year. The dialog is witty and hilarious. As the movie progresses, it gets so wildly out of control that you won’t believe that a studio actually agreed to finance it. There are no limits to The Cabin in the Woods. If you watched the film’s intro, then skipped ahead to the climax, you would never ever believe that the two segments were bookends to the same movie.
Despite The Cabin in the Woods being an instant cult classic, I don’t see it doing too well at the box office. Those who go on the good word of the critics (it’s currently sitting at 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) will be very glad they did. All I can do is urge you to do the same. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
Photo credit: Lionsgate