|Anna Hutchison, The Cabin in the Woods, Lionsgate Films, 2012.|
Wallowing in trend for the insatiable kids who lapped up Chronicle, the well-intentioned but insipid The Cabin in the Woods is a dud. Coming from co-scripter Joss Whedon and his longtime writing partner Drew Goddard, making his unfortunate directorial debut here, this is a letdown. He usually gets all of the genre elements correct. Here spoofing the teen horror genre, fused with the sci-fi procedural Whedon adores, the wink-wink style is off-putting, even offensive for the more in tune.
Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford make wasted appearances as chuckling scientists conducting an experiment on four typical, boring horny twenty somethings at a cabin for the weekend. I know Whedon and Goddard's whole point is to skew the staples of the genres; Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson achieved this with flying colors in Scream. But coming from the guys who brought us the admittedly cheezy Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel tv series, this seems a stretch. The bad dialogue and acting isn't such a stretch from the universes they already made a killing on.