So, I belong to a horror movie club. Of all things, this thing started at my church. A bunch of us started going to horror movies together as a group, catching new movies as they have come into town. Interestingly enough, we have ended up going to quite a few of them, because horror movies have seen a complete revitalization in the past few years. It's been a stealth revitalization, too. Almost no one seems to be aware of it. Because when you talk about current horror movies, most people assume that it's dominated now by torture porn.
And yet, besides 2010's Human Centipede and its sequel, there's been very little of that in the theaters for the past three years or so.
The new horror revolution really started back with Paranormal Activity, with a redux of the "found footage" technique made famous with the Blair Witch Project. But what Paranormal Activity did was not to create a sudden rush to make more found footage films, but to show Hollywood that they could make a lot of money on horror movies without spending 100 million dollars. With movie costs going through the roof nowadays, I'm sure more than one head was turned with the idea that a good horror movie could be made with a low budget, but then turn around and make five to ten times its cost.
What would I recommend? Oh, there's a lot. But instead of spamming you with suggestions, I'll recommend the entire Paranormal Activity series, and a little movie called Insidious. Insidious is one of the better haunted house movies I've ever seen, simply because it solves the problem that most haunted house movies have. And that is: "Wow, this house is creepy. Why don't you just leave?" They solve that problem excellently in Insidious.
So that brings us to The Cabin in the Woods. It's clear to me that this movie is another dark herald in the new dawn of the horror flick. If Insidious solves the problem of why-don't-you-just-leave-the-creepy-house, then the Cabin in the Woods solves every problem with every slasher flick or teenage survival horror movie...ever. I cannot go into it more than that, because you have to see it for yourself. Heck, even if you're not a big horror movie person, but have seen that cliched teenage survival horror film that I'm talking about...you owe it to yourself to see this movie.
From the very opening of the movie, you realize that the film is going to be subversive and quirky. And it executes its subversive humor expertly punctuating it with fun scares and genuine, insidiousness.
The movie was produced by Joss Whedon and has some of his signature on it, but definitely in a good way. What struck me the most about this movie is its sense of arch-humor combined with terror. There were many moments in this movie where I was both laughing yet horrified at the same time.
Well, at this point, to say any more would take away some of the magic of the film. Go see it, enjoy it, talk about it with your buddies. It's well worth the experience.