Prod: Joss Whedon
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford
What better way to kick off the New Zealand Film Festival, but with this Joss Whedon-produced horror flick? Although referring to The Cabin In The Woods simply as a horror film does Whedon, and his director (and co-writer) Drew Goddard, a series injustice. The two have taken the genre, turned it on its head and forced it to look at itself. Critic Roger Ebert has described it as “a final exam for fanboys”. If it is, this is the most fun you’ll have sitting an exam this year.
The basic premise of The Cabin In The Woods is pretty standard…five university students (3 male, 2 female) head out to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun, only to be faced with attacking zombies. We’ve all been there before and so have Whedon and Goddard.
Then there is the subplot involving a gaggle of scientists who are monitoring the actions of the five students and manipulating their environment…taking bets along the way as to who will die and how they will meet their grisly end…kind of like The Truman Show meets Halloween.
That should be plenty of movie for anyone right there. But just when you, dear viewer, think you’ve got this film sussed, there are plenty more surprises to come.
So, without giving anything away, let me just say that the script is smart, funny and full of insider references that will keep any and all fanboys happy. But you don’t have to be and fanboy to enjoy the film. The effects are excellent, although, gore-wise, I’ve seen a lot worse. But I guess that’s missing the point here.
The Cabin In The Woods is a horror film about horror films, about audience expectations, about rituals and archetypes, but mainly, it’s a rollicking good time.
The audience at The Civic has having a great time Friday night. Kiwi-actress Anna Hutchison was on hand for a brief appearance and everyone left the theatre with big, satisfied grins on their faces.