For those "in the know," the the financial problems of MGM put back the latest James Bond entry (Skyfall) quite considerably. For a even smaller select group, those studio shenanigans caused the delay of an already made and highly anticipated film, but now, nearly 2 years later...
Whedon, who's about to unleash "Marvel magic" with The Avengers (Avengers Assemble in the UK) has proven time and time again that he, along with J.J. Abrams, has an ability to create works of genius in the medium of TV and cinema. Admittedly, they seem to be an acquired taste as many of their projects become cult rather than world-wide phenomena, but none-the-less, respected, fun and clever they are. Whedon, who co-wrote and produced, along with his long term co-writer Goddard who directs this time, show yet again that their slant on any subject will not be along the lines of how you expect it to be.
And there-in lies a problem. The Cabin In The Woods may suffer because of its cleverness. The best way to probably see it is to do so with no knowledge of it what-so-ever but in this day and age, that isn't a viable option. The trailer hints, or gives away (depending on your point of view) at the notion that this isn't just a normal teen slasher movie. For those who think it is due to the main bulk of the advertising campaign, they will sit there "WTF'ing" each other from the pre-title beginning sequence, right through to the "seriously?!? WTF???" ending. Audience members with a taste for irony, genre-dissecting and the knowledge that they "get it" as opposed to their fellow switched-off popcorn-punters, will definitely love it.
To explain any further or deeper would add to the ruination of the experience, just like when everyone knew that The Sixth Sense had a twist and therefore looked for it rather than let it come to them. This could be considered a possible Spoiler Alert! so read on if you must but you have been warned... just like the 5 teens that stop for gas and directions to The Cabin In The Woods and are met with the staple ingredient of ugly, scary Hill Billy guy who literally tells them not to go there. But go there they do - and it's all about choices, despite what you think will be the inevitable ending, from there on.
There are two distinct groups that seem as far apart as you could possibly get - the 5 teens and a group of tie and lab coat wearing adults that seem to have a banal job- but the conversations around the workplace coffee machine and at their control panels will later help you revel in the revelations as the tale unfolds. These should help you jump from disgust at the human race and its desensitising to pain and anguish, through to despair at how some members of it can either be that stupid or easily manipulated. Just like the classic genre-dissector Scream pointed out, there are rules and to know them and how to beat them means a chance at survival. Think Scream meets The Truman Show meets Shaun Of The Dead and you'll be slightly prepared - but none of them can say they have a board that boasts "Zombie Redneck Torture Family" "Merman" and "Sugarplum Fairy"...
So much fun even when it spirals into a category that is hard to define, it may need several viewings for you to fully appreciate just how clever, sick and gloriously funny it is. Whedon - genius again!
UK release date: 13.04.12