The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Brief review: Don't get mislead by the intentionally cheesy title and the seemingly hackneyed premise, because "The Cabin in the Woods" is almost like nothing you have seen before. Even though the plot starts in a familiar fashion, even from the very beginning, the creators throw enough curve balls to make you wonder "What the heck is going on here?!". Later on, things are starting to clear up, but the shocks keep coming right until the end. The inventively puzzling script boldly reveals the 'hypothetical' secret behind the horror cliches, plus, Whedon and Goddard inject a solid dose of satire, humor and creativity in it to reach the wanted effect, which is redefining the genre. Though not as scary as expected, "The Cabin in the Woods" is edge-of-your-seat tense and thrilling pretty much most of the time, and has lots of gruesome, nasty imagery. The final 20 min are a complete bloodbath of mayhem and destruction, featuring arguably the goriest scenes since Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive". Sadly, the movie fails to impress execution-wise. Goddard's direction is competent and versatile enough, but it lacks the slickness that could have made it as innovative visually, as it's conceptually. While the practical effects are absolutely spot-on, the CGI work is below par by today's high standards, and at times, quite cheesy. The acting is great, with Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz both being the stand-outs.