The information below is taken from the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/
Five teenagers go to a cabin in the woods which is littered with CCTV camera for the sake of a reality TV programme. As the day progresses, flesh-loving zombies begin to slaughter them one by one…
The Cabin in the Woods is an attack on Hollywood. It’s a hammer smashing into the endless clichés of horror films until they fracture and turn into smithereens and dust. It’s a cup of acid being thrown onto conventional fright-films until they sizzle and burn so much that we see behind their good-looking stars, six-packs, tits and gore to reveal their pathetic, formulaic, predictable narrative.
If anything, it’s bloody refreshing.
The movie is seeping with irony from the start, even the opening titles are ironic. The title suddenly slams on screen in bold red letters, covering the width and length of the screen; the names of the characters have blood dripping on them. Everything.
The first shot of Jules (Anna Hutchinson), the sexy blonde, is of her bum. Then we have the hunky jock, Curt (Chris Hemsworth) – oh, and what’s that he’s carrying in his hands? It’s a rugby ball! All of this could be considered general cliché and lazy writing if it wasn’t for the cheesy rock/pop music strumming in the background, which has the tone of a teenager laughing and mocking something it loves in a ‘so bad it’s good way’. To further add to the irony is the fact that the intentionally-cliche-slut, Jules, has recently dyed her hair blonde (as if in some postmodern ironic way, she’s just done it because she’s in a horror movie…which, she is. Gasp.). Oh, and not to forget the fact that Curt has turned into a “dumb jock” when before he was a sociology student. Any other stock-characters. Well, we have the funny weed-smoker (who has a bong which can also be used as a coffee container), a virgin (ish), and the geek.
Of course, all of this could just be considered a bad copy-cat version of Scream if it wasn’t for the fact that the actual cabin in the woods is littered with CCTV cameras for a reality TV programme. Instantly the self-awareness of the film is amped up to a new level, as we become even more aware that this is some farcical spoof. Of course, the reality TV programme is merely a vehicle to push forward the jokes and the comedy, but it all works. There’s an excellent couple of scenes where the people working for the TV programme all bet on what the unfortunate victims will be slaughtered to death by, they take their bets on whether the stock-characters will be killed by: werewolves, ghosts, vampires, snakes, zombies, and all other forms of horror-film monsters. Oh, and of course, there’s a brilliant gag, where two of the workers there watch Curt and Jules about to have sex (bearing in mind before hand they had to up the temperature levels, the light levels and the pheromone levels, just to get the two 20-somethings to even thinking about a good pounding session). This film has a good sense of comic timing as well, not to mention a brilliantly sharp if not slightly rough-around-the-edges script.
If I were to say a sentence about why this film is such an excellent spoof, I’d have to say this: it understands the horror genre. Perhaps a must-know for a genre-spoof, but after consuming endless badly-written spoofs, it just comes across that they think if we merge the slasher genre with Kevin-Smith-esque nob-gags, it somehow makes a good satire, let alone a good parody. As I’ve already said, Cabin in the Woods knows the genre it’s mocking. It knows what stock-characters are like. It knows horror conventions. it knows the narrative for a conventional horror film. It knows how horror-characters should die. It knows which characters should live or die. It knows which characters should die first. It knows which characters should die last. It even knows that if you pick up a dirty old book and read Latin in it, the dead will no longer sleep, and that if a creepy old man insults you/scares you on the way to your destination, you will die.
There’s always that point in a review where the reviewer directly or indirectly says: I can’t reveal any more because I don’t want to give the ending away. Usually, I don’t particularly care as I look at the film as a whole, but it’s the ending of this film that makes it conceptually spectacular (not to mention visually spectacular). The ending kicks this film up from 3 stars to a 4, it makes the film more satirical, more intelligent, more thrilling, more entertaining. If anything more memorable.
The tagline of the movie is “You think you know the story. Think again.” Never has a tagline been so true.
It knows that if Hollywood made an unconventional horror film, the world might just end in a terrifying apocalypse. It’s a film that left me slightly gob-smacked which takes a lot as I have been called a ‘film snob’ on multiple occassions.