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'The Cabin in the Woods' trailer - Woodland horror gone sci-fi, courtesy of Joss Whedon

Just when I thought that I had seen every horror movie plot out there, and especially during a time when Hollywood seems to be caught up in what I lovingly refer to as The Era of Remakes, something comes out that actually surprises me. The Cabin in the Woods actually looks pretty good.

Are you a horror movie fan? Do you hate it when the soon-to-be-victims decide to split up even though it’s obviously smarter to stick together against one guy with a knife? I’m always screaming at the screen, “That’s a terrible idea! Why would you do that?” I get irritated with the writers because the characters are supposed to be logical and smart. Yes, they’re in an extremely stressful situation, but I still want to see more out of the film. There are better plot devices than having everyone suddenly decide that isolating themselves is the way to go.

For the first forty seconds into The Cabin in the Woods trailer, I felt like I was watching a standard horror movie. A group of friends decide to drive out to a cabin in the middle of nowhere so they can party it up for a weekend. They stop by a rundown gas station where a creepy guy makes some vague insinuations that where they’re going is not so fun. The creepy cabin they’re staying at is extra creepy. People are obviously going to get killed, but maybe this time it’ll be good because it’s being produced and written by Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Drew Goddard (CloverfieldLost). But wait! Suddenly, a bird flies into a crazy high-tech force-field! There’s also an unidentified villain playing with what looks to be a soundboard, except it spring traps and blows escape routes up. The movie now feels a little bit like Saw, as in the antagonist mostly chills out in the background, leisurely controlling the “killing floor.” I like the little twist to the “let’s split up”-cliché.

Fran Kranz, Amy Acker, and Chris Hemsworth are a few faces playing some of the friends. It looks like a fairly strong cast, and there’s some great creativity going on behind the camera. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll have to hunt around for a movie-buddy. Horror movies always freak me out.

The Cabin in the Woods is set to release April 13, 2012.

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