This will be short, because there’s not really a whole lot you can say about this movie without spoiling it. But Husband and I celebrated Independence Day by finally catching this movie at the second-run theater before we missed our chance to see it on the big screen, and I’m glad we did. It’s gotten a lot of hype, both from Whedon fans and non, and it did not disappoint. Y’all, this movie is awesome.
Is it scary? Yes. Well, if you’re like me and you grew up on a steady diet of slasher flicks and are pretty much inured to the genre, then it’s more fun than scary. But if scary movies actually scare you, then there’s a good bet that this one will, because it plays the horror parts straight. I went in expecting over the top jokey horror a la Evil Dead 2, and although there is some of that, I was delightfully surprised at the parts of it that were straight up horror movie. If you are the sort who is bothered by that type of gorey slasher horror, then I’m hesitant to recommend this movie to you — although I’m also tempted to say that if you can at all stand it, then it’s completely worth it, because the last act takes a turn that is purely Whedonesque and fifty shades of awesome.
Of course, I can’t tell you what that is without ruining the whole premise of the movie. And so, naturally, I will do it behind a cut.
SPOILER ALERT for those who came straight to the post page and missed out on the benefit of the READ MORE cut. I’m about to give away the whole premise of Cabin In the Woods, so if you don’t want to know, turn back now!
So basically, it’s what would happen if Wolfram & Hart were in charge of keeping the hell mouth closed.
The main premise is that the plot of every slasher movie ever happens because there are these giant elder gods sleeping beneath the earth, and in order to appease them and keep them from rising up and destroying all of humanity, each year an unnamed corporation lures a set of five unsuspecting young people — a group that must always include the “whore,” the athlete, the scholar, the fool and the “virgin” — to this cabin in the woods and sets them up to choose the method of their sacrifice, which is always bloody and violent. The “whore” must always be the first to die, and the “virgin” must outlive everyone else and can be allowed to survive, so long as she suffers, because this is what the gods demand. It’s a fantastic subversion of the slasher movie cliche, and an interesting take on the WHY of the Final Girl convention.
Best of all, it could easily slot itself right into the Buffy & Angel-verse, what with the cabin being built on top of what is basically a hell mouth, and the monsters, and the mysterious corporation that seems suspiciously like it could be the science division of Wolfram & Hart (and even employs Amy Acker sporting a white lab coat and seeming chagrined at the whole “Yes, this is evil, but it’s for the greater good” aspect of the company’s purpose). You could easily envision the Scoobie Gang staying at that cabin and, once they get to the bottom of what’s really going on, Buffy being all, “THIS is NOT how you deal with a hell mouth, people!” In fact, I would give a lot of things to see that cross-over movie, and I’m all kinds of sad that it will most likely never happen.
In short: It’s good! Watch it!