The Cabin in the Woods (US, 2011)

The same but different

The same but different

Genre’s problem is having to always reinvent itself. It must, by definition, be the same but if it’s too samey then audiences are not likely to be interested (though that doesn’t seem to have stopped X Factor); successful genre texts must offer a spin on conventions. I won’t give away the decidedly postmodern spin on the ‘teens-in-the-woods-being-bumped-off-one-by-one’ trope but it is imaginative.

The writers, the ubiquitous Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (who also directed), take care to ensure we care for characters, even if only a little, so there is genuine tension in the threat. There’s also some crackling dialogue from the pothead, Marty (‘I’m going to read a book with pictures’). If anything they could have developed their conceit even further to investigate why horror attracts many but that’s a minor criticism.

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