Movie review: The Cabin in the Woods

From the April 12, 2012 edition

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A group of attractive, socially diverse college students head into the woods for a weekend camping trip. Unspeakable evil befalls them.

You’ve seen that movie before. The makers of “The Cabin in the Woods” have, too.

Co-writer/director Drew Goddard reteamed with his pal Joss Whedon (the force behind “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) to lovingly put the teen slasher genre into a blender, resulting in hands-down the most fun I’ve had at a movie this year.

“Cabin” is definitely a movie where the less you know, the better, so I’ll be careful not to reveal any secrets. It sort of ends up being “Friday the 13th” meets “The Truman Show.” Maybe with a dash of “Inception.”

See, Goddard also wrote for “Lost,” so he knows a thing or two about taking an audience into uncharted territory. Of course, a lot of “Lost” fans complained that that series didn’t stick its landing (though Goddard was gone from the writing staff during those final seasons).

Not the case with “Cabin.” Its final act — of which I’ll reveal little to nothing — is jaw-dropping, giddily gory and will leave fans of the genre in the aisles.

And that signature “Buffy” wit? “Cabin” just oozes it. If you like your humor snarky, you won’t laugh harder.

Goddard’s debut is the new high-water mark for self-aware horror-comedy. It’s already got “cult” written all over it. Go see it now, preferably with the rowdiest audience possible.