Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer television series, co-wrote the script and his droll humour percolates throughout, inviting us to become whooping, cheering voyeurs as characters meet a grisly demise.
For the opening five minutes, making sense of the madness in Goddard and Whedon’s hare-brained method takes up most of our attention, which is no bad thing given how thinly characters are sketched.
Plot twists are the key selling point of The Cabin In The Woods and the big reveal in the closing minutes is a humdinger, including a cameo from a big name Hollywood star, who clearly relishes their five minutes in the spotlight.
Yet for all of its audacity and deliciously off-kilter humour, the various elements don’t gel seamlessly and once the writers’ grand plan is laid out before us, we feel slightly underwhelmed.
The Cabin In The Woods has some big laughs and lashings of gore, including a possessed zombie appendage that lends a hand at a crucial juncture.
The young cast embrace their genre archetypes, screaming or disrobing on cue.
At certain points, Goddard probably gives us too much information but the crescendo certainly doesn’t skimp on the digital effects or blood letting. Goddard knows how to end with an almighty bang.
STAR RATING: ***