Two long-delayed projects starring a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth are slated to hit theaters in 2012. One is the Red Dawn remake and the other is The Cabin in the Woods, a horror movie co-written by Joss Whedon (The Avengers) and Cloverfield screenwriter Drew Goddard (the latter also made his directing debut on the film).
Goddard and Whedon previously worked together on the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel; the former is (of course) well-known for turning many tried-and-true horror movie clichés on their head. As evidenced by the first trailer for Cabin in the Woods, the aforementioned writing duo are aiming to do something similar with their most recent collaboration.
The setup for Cabin the Woods is (intentionally) familiar: a pack of beautiful young people head out for what is supposed to be a relaxing getaway at an old-fashioned cabin, somewhere in the remote wilderness, far from civilization. However, just like every other horror story with that premise, the characters soon find themselves running for their lives as some mysterious entity (previous examples include a horrible flesh-eating virus and a madman with a chainsaw) starts trying to kill them all.
So, how exactly are Goddard and Whedon aiming to creatively upend that familiar narrative setup, without the final product coming off as a direct variation on its more memorable predecessors (ex. The Evil Dead)? Well, watch the Cabin in the Woods trailer below and find out:
So, if this trailer is any indication, Cabin in the Woods goes beyond merely being a self-aware flick where characters try and resist the stereotypically stupid behavior that traditionally dominates these sorts of films. It also throws what appears to be a strange sci-fi angle into the mix, complete with giant honeycomb-patterned force fields and sinister operatives surveying the main cast as they attempt to escape deadly (inhuman? alien?) creatures.
Give Goddard and Whedon credit: that's the sort of bizarre approach to overused spooky movie genre conventions that even FX's American Horror Story has yet to try. If that semi-experimental spin on an over-used narrative works or not remains to be seen; if nothing else, Lionsgate appears to be hoping that the film's oddball post-modern structure proves to be a bankable selling point, based on how prominently it is featured in this first promo.
Likewise, that theme of "genre deconstruction" is visually-realized in the Cabin in the Woods poster, which you can check out below:
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Lionsgate is releasing Cabin in the Woods in the springtime, which has become a go-to spot for similar horror flicks in recent years - be it the latest remake of a classic slasher movie (Nightmare on Elm Street) or the newest sequel in a onetime popular spin on traditional slasher films (Scream 4). This time around, horror fans will get to see something that can be more genuinely referred to as "original." Hopefully, "good" and "entertaining" will also be words that apply.
Look for The Cabin the Woods to open in theaters around the U.S. on April 13th, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies