Even if you're a seasoned horror aficionado who's seen everything the genre has to offer - all the way from Nosferatu to Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (no, I haven't seen it either; but, yes, it does exist) - nothing will have prepared you for The Cabin in the Woods.
Though it starts out normally enough, chaos soon ensues and creators Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard orchestrate a thrilling mash-up that flies from one realm of craziness to another and then ends with one final crash.
At times, though, it can get a bit too crazy. But instead of focusing on those elements, I recommend just going with the flow and letting the film-makers take you on the journey they intended, not the one you think they intended.
And they certainly left their mark, with elements that can only have come from Whedon's wonderful mind (a certain drinks flask being the prime example). He gives the film a tongue-in-cheek, comedic touch that sits perfectly with the more traditional horror fare. However, this does come at the expense of proper scares and, though there are jumps here and there, some might find it a bit tame.
But that's the thing, don't go into the cinema expecting anything. Just let yourself go and don't resist what the film is doing. This is when The Cabin in the Woods is at its most thrilling.
I have been purposefully vague throughout this ‘review’ for a reason; the less you know, the more you will enjoy it. The trailers are very spoilerish, so I recommend going in cold; no trailers, no plot summaries, no expectations, nothing. Just sit back and enjoy the mayhem.
Part homage, part parody, The Cabin in the Woods is a must-see for horror fans . . . and pretty much a must-see for everyone else, as well.