The Cabin in the Woods is a delirious masterpiece that’s been on the shelf far too long. With Lionsgate footing the bill, they can finally show the world that the film is far more than just “Sam Raimi’s Lost.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But Whedon and Goddard both seem to have a bone to pick with the genre, and sometimes the only way to express yourself is with a huge love letter. While the film may have been lensed way back in 2009 when Hemsworth was still mainly known as James Kirk’s heroic father in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, even then Hemsworth had the chops to carry a film of his own, even if he’s not quite as beefed up as he is now, wielding his almighty hammer.
If the look of the film seems reminiscent of Raimi’s own Evil Dead 2, it’s no coincidence, as Peter Deming was director of photography on that one too. Deming knows how to stage a shot and never relies on the much maligned shaky cam, so we always know what’s going on, which is essential for a film that takes place almost exclusively at night. And composer David Julyan also knows a thing or two about keeping the score good and creepy while ratcheting up the tension. Editor Lisa Lassek (another Whedon crony) keeps every scene in tip-top order, but the real star of the show here is Drew Goddard. Most of his offerings have been in the Abrams camp (Alias and Lost), but he certainly knows what makes a great genre flick tick. With Cloverfield and now The Cabin in the Woods under his belt, I can’t wait to see what greatness Goddard delivers for us next, and I can’t wait to see this one again.
Photos courtesy Lionsgate