Drew Goddard's giddily brilliant The Cabin in the Woods has a lot on its twisted mind.
Not since "Scream" has a horror movie subverted the expectations that accompany the genre to such wicked effect as The Cabin in the Woods, a sly, self-conscious twist on one of slasher films' ugliest stepchildren: the coed campsite massacre.
The Cabin in the Woods, regardless of its many genealogical links to prior Whedon creations, is an ideal Hollywood film in the Age of Pixar: spectacle for spectacle's sake, but infiltrated by intelligent commentary and an atmosphere of generosity and inclusion.
Part "Evil Dead," part "The Truman Show," part "Arthur Christmas"... For horror hounds who love a larf, and those of us who always wondered exactly what that dry-ice stuff that rises out of the forest-floor moss is. A fun ride - but not quite a "Scream."
A horror comedy with a structural twist intended to emit an air of being something more, Cabin has an off-putting vibe of cocky self-confidence, a "don't you get it" conviction that it's something special. As with people, it's not a charming quality in a movie.