The last time I was grinning from ear to ear walking out of a horror movie was when I saw Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell back in 2009. It's pretty rare these days to find a horror movie that manages to be smart, fun and original at the same time. I am very happy to say that The Cabin in the Woods is all three of those things, and is easily the best horror movie I've seen in a long time.
It's hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it, and you should go see it knowing as little as possible. What I will say is that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard have drawn on their storytelling experience, as well as their knowledge and love of the genre to give us something that every horror fan can appreciate. In many ways, much of the movie feels like an episode of Buffy or Supernatural. The character interaction we've come to love from those shows is present throughout the movie. Every cliche we see in almost every modern horror movie is here--some are played straight up, and some with a twist. Moments of tension are well balanced with moments of humor. And while the movie is not blood soaked from start to finish, there are some very gory moments featuring a good mix of both digital and practical effects.
What I'm trying to say without actually revealing anything is that there's a little bit of everything in The Cabin in the Woods, and it all comes together to form a really fun horror movie. One of the things that a lot of modern horror movies seem to have forgotten is that they're supposed to be fun. It's a blast to go to the theater with a group of friends and be put through the ringer of emotions that a good horror movie can offer. Laugh one minute, jump out of your seat the next, cringe in disgust, and then cheer for the monster. The Cabin in the Woods lets you do all of these things, and for that I love it.
5 out of 5 Happy Horrors