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The Cabin in the Woods

Rod Lott September 18th, 2012

Josh Whedon is partially responsible for arguably the most creative pictures of this year, and I don’t mean The Avengers. I’m talking about The Cabin in the Woods, the horror film reputed to be a game-changer in the genre. It’s not the end-all-be-all film as hyped, but it is undeniably clever.

Without spoiling anything you don’t already see in the trailer — or the film’s first scene — Cabin has two settings: the title site, which is a staple of so many slashers, and … an “office,” let’s say. The former allows Whedon and his co-writer/director Drew Goddard to set up a chessboard of fright-flick clichés; the latter, letting them play with, tweak and shoot holes into them. That’ll make sense once you see it, and you should.

Regardless of what Whedon’s rabid fan base insists, the movie has its limitations, primarily in his highly praised dialogue that continues to strike me as too overly affected and in love with itself. However, Cabin’s very concept pays off in huge sums and a delirious finale. The movie deserved to be the monster hit that Goddard’s Cloverfield was.

Just don’t listen to the Blu-ray’s commentary — so pretentious, even Goddard and Whedon acknowledge it. Whedon even closes with the rhetorical “How can we make ourselves more unlikable?” —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:

• The Avengers film review 

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