More spoilers today, so look away....
Today's Movie: Cabin In The Woods (2012) - watched on DVD.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (is he Thor?), Bradley Whitford, Shaggy from Scooby Doo, a bunch of other people who become chum during the course of the movie.
Plot: A bunch of friends (the jock, the slut, the virtuous one, the stoner, the sensitive guy) plan a weekend in someone's cabin in the woods. They run across the creepy local who warns them all away just like every other horror movie ever filmed.
They stumble across a basement full of toys and one of them accidentally unleashes hell on earth. Let the bodies begin piling up.
Only things aren't what the seem. The cabin is being monitored by people who appear to be running a game show with real death involved.
Things get more convoluted (often hilariously so) from there. The deaths are actually a human sacrifice to prevent unseen, hellish creatures for coming up and destroying the earth. Yeah, it's a bit hard to describe this one.
Gore Factor: Through the roof.
Nude Factor: 'Come on...show us the goods'
Scare Factor: Despite the complex plot, there are some seriously creepy moments here. It helps that there is barely any build up before the first victim is claimed. Things only escalate from there. Some images from this movie will stay with you.
Review: This doesn't simply turn the genre on its head, it tips it upside down, inside out and abuses it with amusing contrasts (the employees at the monitoring center partying while one girl is being thoroughly abused on the monitors behind them is a classic). It also becomes the first horror movie that PROMOTES the use of marijuana. I really don't want to spoil this too much as some of the explanations for the annual slaughter are the best punch lines.
Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins are fantastic as two colleagues betting on the outcome of the victims. Acting like it's just another day at the office while carnage takes place all around them. The other actors are just as good, morphing from the stereotypical teens marked for death to living, breathing humans we're rooting for.
There are surprising and shocking deaths throughout as well as an unexpected resurrection. The film keeps you on your toes, so don't expect your traditional 'here comes a sequel' ending, either.
Bottom Line: Smart, funny, scary, super gory...yep, we have a winner here.