Where has all the good horror gone? It seems as though fans of the genre have been asking that for years, suffocating in a sea of unnecessary remakes, ‘torture porn’, and ineffective CGI-fueled slop. Die-hard fans categorize and argue what makes a nail biting horror flick, breaking off into sub-genres, themes, and eras. Whether you’re into 1940s “Universal Monsters” (The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein), 1950s and 60s suspense (Psycho, Vertigo), 1970s sci-fi (Solaris, Alien), or just plain classics (The Exorcist) almost everyone can agree that most of the scary sleeper hits of the past few years have been foreign or underground.
Fan-boy writer/director (in this case, co-writer) Joss Whedon is hoping to change all that with his new film, The Cabin in the Woods. Whedon teams up again with Cloverfield scribe Drew Goddard. Goddard and Whedon are no strangers to genre work; both worked together on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, while Goddard has had his pen in the likes of Lost, Alias, and of course, Cloverfield. Whedon himself had taken a few years away from film (after Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, Titan A.E., X-men, and Serenity) to compete with J.J. Abrams as the king of sci-fi television (Firefly, Dollhouse). This year, Whedon sparks resurgence on the big screen with The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods, and a black and white re-telling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The question, as with his pending comic book blockbuster, remains: can Joss really pull off anything?
We’ll soon find out about The Avengers, but The Cabin in the Woods, though less publicized, holds just as much weight. Horror fans are clamoring for something real, something tangible to sink our teeth into, something to follow us home, and, knowing Whedon, something that warps the genre in a way we can’t possibly imagine yet.
The Cabin in the Woods’ supposed plot is so simple that something must be lurking beneath the surface. For once, Buzzine warns that you watch the trailer at your own risk. The minor twists revealed are clearly game-changers, so proceed with caution! Still, there is no way that Whedon and Goddard will let the true plot slip from their fingers, and the bulk of the story will still be a surprise.
The film stars a few Whedon collaborators, including Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse), and Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, Much Ado About Nothing), as well as Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing).
With Whedon’s wit and Goddard’s sci-fi/thriller directing sensibilities, The Cabin in the Woods has already picked up substantial buzz from geeks everywhere. For true fans, this is the perfect movie to kick off summer midnight movie premiere nights. Gather with fellow Whedon-ites to cheer, scream, and laugh at his response to modern horror.
For Fans Of: Cloverfield, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse
Why We’re Excited: Joss Whedon, genre-bending horror
‘The Cabin in the Woods’ premiered at the 2012 SXSW to stellar reviews, and hits theaters this Friday, April 13, 2012.