Friend: So is CABIN IN THE WOODS good?
You: It's great!
Friend: So what happens in it?
You: I'm not going to spoil it, wouldn't dream of it. You should see it.
Friend: Just tell me what happens, I'm never going to see it.
You: Dude, if you're interested to know what happens, you really should just see it.
Friend: Seriously, I don't think I'm ever going to see it, you can go ahead and tell me.
You: Really, you should see it.
Friend: I'm not going to, all right? Just tell me what happens!
You: (reluctantly) Well, it's about...(gives a four or five sentence summary, including some of the crazy shit that goes down in the second half)
Friend: Oh. Wow. (slight pause) I kinda wish you hadn't told me about it.
Goodbuddy Jon Sung posits that THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a movie that should not be spoiled, no matter how much time has elapsed, and your proprietor must wholeheartedly agree. The archetypal tale of teens at the mercy of a nameless horror in a murky forest (which is, itself, under control of a much larger entity) is a multi-varied, clever, often hilarious, and occasionally terrifying piece of meta-horror. Co-written by Joss Whedon (a creator whose work has inspired both love and frustration from me), CABIN happily sidesteps Whedon's lapses into cutesiness, delivering what he calls a "love hate letter" to contemporary film horror. As such, it is very much the act of criticism that Ebert suggests. Yet it never disappears inside itself, nor does it, even as it renders us complicit in its plot, deny us the visceral pleasures of filmgoing (as a bonus, it gives great roles and lines to a number of actors, including Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford). Though the prospect of a sequel is highly unlikely, I'm keen to see where film horror goes from here.