I’ve been looking forward to Joss Whedon’s “The Cabin in the Woods” ever since I caught wind of it, oh, more than two years ago, but as we all know its release was thwarted by original distributor MGM’s financial difficulties. Thankfully Lions Gate managed to snap up the Chris Hemsworth-starring horror film earlier this year, slating it for an April 13, 2012 theatrical debut.
Now the studio has released the film’s first trailer, which initially feels familiar – group of good-looking kids travel to a secluded cabin for a night of drinking and sex, stop at a spooky gas station staffed by a lone old man prone to making vaguely ominous pronouncements, take a dip in the nearby lake, etc. – and soon veers into much stranger territory when it’s revealed that the stock setting of the title is actually far more than meets the eye.
I have to say, as much as I’ve been amped for this movie to come out, the trailer actually exceeded my expectations. I always love when a filmmaker attempts to do something new in a genre populated with so many stale copycats, and the clip is chock-full of intriguing imagery including a bit where a bird collides with some sort of invisible computer-grid forcefield thingie that is key to the film’s unique central plot device.
Some will likely gripe that the spot gives away too much too soon (and it does, no doubt, do far more than just tease the film’s inventive hook), but I think it was probably necessary for Lions Gate to put the film’s unusual perspective on full display up front in order to draw in audiences who long ago grew tired of the same old horror-movie formulas. And hey, it does look pretty spectacular from a visual standpoint alone (the film is the directorial debut of Goddard, a writer who previously penned “Cloverfield” and is also working on that film’s sequel).
In short, I’m sold, though I do agree that Lions Gate perhaps could have teased out the plot a bit better over the next few months given that the film doesn’t even come out until mid-April. Overall though, it’s an “A-” grade for me.
After watching the trailer below, rate it for yourself at top left!