Finally, the movie I’ve been waiting for. Even better, I didn’t know I was waiting for it till I saw it. It will be in my Top Ten of 2012 even though (or because?) I’m not really a horror fan.
The Cabin in the Woods makes the knowing discussions of film conventions by the genre-savvy horror fans in Scream look naive by comparison. Craven’s metafictional deconstruction of the horror genre now looks more like he merely loosened a few rivets.
Writer-director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon have done to the horror film what Inglourious Basterds did to the war movie: deliver a devastating critique of the genre even as they lovingly fulfill and, thankfully, exceed its conventions. Like Tarantino’s, their film may undermine your ability to enjoy the genre in the future, but the experience itself is so worthwhile that there’s hardly room for complaint. The final act is so joyfully gratuitous it covers the sins of many films I wish had ended comparably.
If The Tempest is the Last Shakespeare Play then The Cabin in the Woods is the Last Horror Picture Show. The comparison will be evident.