The Cabin in the Woods
Directed by Drew Goddard
This is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. As such, I have kind of dreaded writing about it. I always feel as though I can be rather incoherent in my gushing. So prepare yourselves. I also worship Joss Whedon, so gushing might get a bit out of control.
I should probably start by saying that this movie is made for horror movie fans (more specifically, slasher movie fans) and if you don't enjoy those, you might not get a lot out of this film. On the other hand, if you are like me and have spent many nights searching the darkest corners of Netflix trying to discover a decent slasher movie because you have seen all the famous ones already, this movie will speak to you. Five friends decide to spend their break in a remote cabin in the woods. Now I think, given this premise, we would all have certain expectations about what will happen and who will survive. But this is Joss Whedon, people! He lives to defy our expectations and break our hearts into a thousand pieces.
Being self aware doesn't always work in films. I have seen movies that spend a lot of time winking at the camera, while still exhausting the same tired tropes. Just because you are know you are performing cliches doesn't mean you are excused. This movie manages to acknowledge many horror movie conventions while still being fresh. I would go into more detail, but I am not sure what qualifies as spoilers in a film like this.
Anyway, I might go into more details about why I love this movie in the comments section, so I will give a preliminary spoiler warning. But I will close with this Joss Whedon quote: "Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke."
Drew Goddard was inspired by his upbringing in Los Alamos, where scientists lived ordinary, routine lives while building nuclear weapons.
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote the script in three days.