The first worthwhile horror film of 2012 gives us the jock, the sleazy blonde, the intellectual, the virgin and the stoner, along with a heavy dose of hormones, a clunking RV and, of course, a cabin in the woods. Strangeness and paranoia ensues as these college kids settle into their getaway. Queue false alarms, thick, tensive atmosphere and cellar doors that spring open by themselves. Eerie artifacts scatter the cabin basement and the stoner senses that something just doesn’t feel right. And before you know it, we’ve lost the sleazy blonde to a resurrected corpse with a knife (if you consider this a spoiler, you’ve got another thing coming).

Trying to predict what’s going to happen in the second half of this film is useless – the tables don’t only turn, they flip, bounce and rattle within a script that juggles everything we’ve learned from horror movies with the sadistic nerve to let every piece fall to the floor with a crash. Screenwriters Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard are filmmaking Vikings bent on raping and pillaging the horror genre, in the process creating both a satire of and a monument to every torture-porn, frightfest, slasher and gore-bucket film reel that has entertained the masses over the past few decades. Every minute makes you uncomfortably aware of the reason you’re watching this bloodbath, the same reason why you’ve sat through every one before it.

I don’t want to give away too much – and I think that’s the reason why the trailer for this wicked puzzle was a self-mocking bit of brain-dead horror cliché. What I can say is that it’s smarter than it looks, with surprisingly solid acting (the stoner was comic precision), offering a fresh way to cater to our society’s insatiable horror appetite.

About the Author

Paul Kitti
Paul Kitti
Paul is another awesome member of the iSPY team.