Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

“The Cabin in the Woods” takes a cardboard-cutout horror-movie setup (five stereotypical college students road-trip to a remote lakeside retreat, where in the cellar they uncover the diary of a long-dead girl who foretells ghastly goings-on) and meta-fies it, taking us to the control center where Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins (both cashing paychecks) monitor and tweak the scenario like the air traffic controllers in “Pushing Tin.” The movie is winky and has some laughs, but it’s not a straight send-up like “Scream” or “Scary Movie.” It’s a deconstruction of the genre, and it’s a bit too proud of itself for it. The filmmakers – director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon – forgot (or just didn’t care) to create any genuine scares. And their ending’s a letdown – a bloodbath of well-drawn, hideous creatures seen for just seconds before each is devoured by the next. The “epic” surprise cameo isn’t.

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