When Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho opened in 1960 it was carried into theaters on a wave of advertising that commanded audiences to keep mum about the story’s surprising elements. Thanks in part to that ad campaign, Psycho became a hit that changed horror films even as it legitimized them. The mainstream horror genre quickly developed around a codified set of tropes, character archetypes and specific rules that, fifty years later, are tiresome in their predictability.

Marketing for The Cabin in the Woods, from director Drew Goddard and his co-writer Joss Whedon, exploits some of that same “don’t tell friends how it ends!” PR mode. But that’s just a smokescreen. Goddard and Whedon aim to demolish the archetypes born in the wake of that early popularization of horror, and in doing so bring a sense of spontaneous fun back to the genre.

The pair succeeds spectacularly. The Cabin in the Woods is a blast. It’s a film for anyone who feels the spark has gone out of horror. This movie is clever and quite self-aware, and it has very specific ideas about what caused horror to fall into rote patterns. As they get around to explaining just how horror turned into what it is today, Goddard and Whedon give the audience a chum bucket full of the thrills it wants, but also argues that playing by the rules is the wrong way to go. Read More »

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One of the films that got caught up in the tumultuous financial collapse at MGM was The Cabin in the Woods, which Joss Whedon co-wrote with Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard, who also directed. The film stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) in a story that tweaks the classic horror plot setup that plops a handful of people into a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Now, years after it was completed, the film is going to be released by LionsGate, and we’ve got the first promo image after the break. Read More »

When MGM’s financial standing temporarily went to the great balance sheet in the sky, the two biggest projects that were left standing like children in a Charles Dickens novel were the Red Dawn remake and The Cabin in the Woods, a reportedly smart horror film directed by Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard and co-written and produced by Joss Whedon.

I’m not certain that anyone cares much about the still-homeless Red Dawn, especially after EnemyGate, but I’ve heard so many good things about The Cabin in the Woods from parties in the know that I am quite curious to see it. And now Lionsgate is going to make that happen, as the studio is picking up Cabin to distribute this year. Read More »

Will Cabin in the Woods Be the Latest MGM Casualty?

MGM’s dire financial troubles have already spelled doom or delay for several films: the next Bond movie was indefinitely postposed, The Hobbit is delayed to the point where Guillermo del Toro walked as director, and the Red Dawn remake is shelved for the time being, because the studio doesn’t have enough money to release the film.

Now the horror movie Cabin in the Woods, written and produced by Joss Whedon and directed by Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard, looks like the latest casualty of the studio’s misfortune. Read More »

Cabin in the Woods Casting Announcements

cabin in the woods casting

Kristen Connolly (Revolutionary Road), Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek), Anna Hutchison (Underbelly), Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) and Jesse Williams (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2) have been cast in the Joss Whedon-scripted, Drew Goddard directed horror thriller Cabin in the Woods. They will join the previously announced cast of Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) and Bradley Whitford (Bottle Shock).

Read More »

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