I’m no Joss Whedon expert, but after watching his newest project, “The Cabin in the Woods,” I can say I’m a fan. The movie’s a postmodern homage to the horror flicks that we grew up with. But it turns the genre on its head.
We’re all familiar with horror’s archetypes: the jock, the whore, the nerd, the comic relief (joker), the saint. Whedon’s familiar too and his film gives us an “explanation” for the genre’s stock characters.
We’ve got Chris Hemsworth (sans the blonde locks and Thor hammer) starring alongside relative no-names, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams as the five victims, with great performances by Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers) and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) as the guys behind the scenes.
Without giving too much away, I will say, if you’re a horror fan, I think you’ll love and at least appreciate “The Cabin in the Woods.” The clown from “It,” Pin Head from “Hellraiser” and a murderous unicorn (I have no idea) all have cameos in a graphic sequence that, at one point, made me look away.
Whedon’s penchant for great dialogue shines. I was equally amused and horrified in between laughs. All those times you’ve screamed at the TV with the obvious questions: “Why is she running upstairs instead of out the front door?! Why are they needling around in a creepy basement anyway! Didn’t they see “Evil Dead!”
Whedon has his characters questioning, and he gives us a gory, horrific, twisted answer.