Cabin in the Woods.
Ok, you’ve seen this a thousand times. A group of acne-free teenagers go to an isolated cabin in the woods for fun/drinking/sex only to be attacked/stalked/brutalized by some knife/ax/chainsaw weilding madman/clown/werevampire. One by one they all die until there is only the virgin left and she somehow kicks ass.
This is not that movie. Despite the title.
Well, ok, it is that movie but it’s done by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly fame (and soon to be ‘of the Avengers’ fame). In the first episode of Buffy, we had a leather jacketed bad boy and a cheerleader-beautiful young girl breaking in to a school where we just know that the bad boy has more on his mind than just sneaking around, possibly some vampire neck-biting goodness. Joss patiently builds the tension as the bad boy stares at the girl’s neck, as he leads her deeper and deeper into the school. And then!!!! The cheerleader turns around, shows her vampire fangs and chomps down on the bad boy.
That’s this movie in a nutshell. Oh sure there’s lots of hacky and slashy, lots of blood, lots and lots of gore but it’s also one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in ages. You watch and think, oh, I know what’s going on but, unless you’ve read the spoilers, you have no clue. This is a movie done by a master of the genre. He knows what works and what doesn’t, what’s scary and what’s hilarious, he knows what we expect and turns that on its head.
There may be better movies this year, there may be more violent ones or funnier ones or ones that suprise me with nifty plotty twists but I doubt there will be one that combines all three so successfully. The characters are fantastic, the setting compelling and the action, edge-of-the-seat tense.
All hail Joss.
I mean look at the size of that forehead, the guy HAS to be brilliant!