Cabin Fever: this is not. Anyone willing to take a risk and potentially see movie spoilers by watching the trailer to the new Drew Goddard directed/Joss Whedon produced Cabin In The Woods might have gotten that inclination where a group of young friends go to spend a fun-filled weekend in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Of course, the title of the movie would have given that impression anyway.
Instead, what you get is a film that focuses not on the storyline at hand but rather pulls back and places an entire movie genre into the lens of a caricature, using what makes the regular horror flick and emphasizing it. How ridiculousness something can be when taken out of context is the high point of this movie. Sure, there’s the side of the film that fits perfectly into what makes a horror movie, properly executed with a nice clean finish (I use “clean” lightly) and some instances of frights and jumps, but there’s a whole other side of this movie that draws up a much better plan for something even greater. The original trailer does touch on this very slightly but it won’t make sense until you see just how twisted the plot really is.
What we are working with in Cabin In The Woods are five friends, Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Dana (Kristen Connolly) Jules (Anna Hutchison), Holden (Jesse Williams) and the hilarious Marty (Fran Kranz) who take a weekend trip to a cabin that is so far out of the way there’s no GPS or cellphone reception, which makes for a very typical setup. Each character is placed within the confines of very stereotypical roles, on purpose, because it’s what is expected. However, what makes this film stand out from others is how it approaches these genre normalcies. When you’re expected to work within the limits of certain boundaries, you ultimately have two options. Something seemingly real or something obviously fake. This movie goes for door number three. So fake it’s real.
The Cabin In The Woods is the type of film that can force an entire genre to its knees and re-evaluate how to approach things. Not in the sense that it will result in multiple spin-offs or duplicates like what Scream did back in the 90s. Rather, it works as both an homage and a criticism, playing off of the ridiculousness but doing it while providing a genuine plot to appease fans of the horror genre. The end result may be a turning point for the genre as well as the actors in the movie. It might not be a trendsetter but it could very well make people take notice in the long run.