|"Maybe we should have gone on a road trip."|
I won't give away the twist ending. It's barely worth protecting, though. The Cabin in the Woods' last fifteen minutes are a train wreck, because the film chooses the grandiose Hollywood finish over one which provides the story with actual closure. Whedon and Goddard overreach themselves, introducing too many plot elements and not explaining any of them. True, a few plotholes are forgivable, even expected, in your standard horror movie. But a movie that aims to tear down and rebuild horror cliches needs to be watertight. The Cabin in the Woods is enjoyable if you don't think about it, but the more questions you ask about the world it builds, the less well it holds together. Up until your brain clocks in, though, it's a fun ride, made all the better if you've seen enough horror to recognize the references (in some ways, The Cabin in the Woods is just a big in-joke for horror fans).
The Cabin in the Woods gets a 4/5 from me, but this is satire, not horror; the scares are scarce and largely incidental. Plot holes aside, the central premise makes this one of the most clever movies I've seen in theatres for a long time, even if the plot does eventually paint itself into a corner. Too bad about that, too. A long string of sequels would have been in keeping with the most hallowed and time-honored traditions of the slasher.
|The anguish of the lost contact lens.|
FINAL GIRL: Kristen Connolly as Dana, who I guess is the Felicia Day you get when Felicia Day is making Rock Jocks. Connolly is decent and forgettable, which is all she had to be. Whedon generally needs skilled elocutionists more than people who can actually act. As Harrison Ford said to George Lucas, "you can write this shit, but you sure can't say it." (I love you, Joss. Really).