Yesterday I rented The Cabin in the Woods on my Xbox 360, expecting the typical gore and mindless story of a slasher flick--I was pleasantly surprised.
There was a lot of humor incorporated into this horror film through dialogue; it's part of the charm of Cabin in the Woods. Nothing is slapstick, and what jokes I saw were cleverly crafted into the flow of the scenes, usually a pair of characters discussing what to do, and at the same time, playing off the cliches we tend to see in horror movies.
Purposely stereotyped with jocks, a blond, and a stoner (there's a point to it that you find out near the end) the characters try to stick together. They try to leave. Unfortunately, a building full of men and women in lab coats conducting this "experiment" have tricky ways of manipulating behavior. Both Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins were hilarious right out of the gate. Rather than the opening death scene I've grown accustomed to, I saw five minutes of comedy partially unrelated to anything that happens the rest of the movie; it was a simple character intro that offered a string of chuckles that put me in the right mood.
The trailers had me thinking this was going to be a movie that took itself too serious, but the fact that it laughed at itself and poked fun at the genre made me fall in love with it instantly. Cabin in the Woods might be the best horror film I've seen in years, maybe as far back as Scream...or one of my guilty pleasures, Slither with Nathan Fillion.
Despite the laughs, as a viewer, I never forgot it was a horror movie. There was gore and blood and hillbilly zombies, as well as a host of other creatures. The ending especially was a nice twist, a twist I didn't expect, and I'd recommend this movie to anyone even slightly interested in horror or looking for a light-hearted monster flick; I might recommend this to anyone looking for a comedy or pure entertainment as well.