The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2011). On the way to see Drew Goddard’s first directorial effort, I mentioned Cloverfield to my wife. Goddard wrote the screenplay for that one, and I gave it 8/10. She liked the movie well enough, but she thought it was pretty silly to give such a high rating to that movie. Well, here I go again. There is a LOT going on in The Cabin in the Woods, and while I’m pretty good about not giving spoilers, it takes all of my energy to keep quiet here, because one of the delights of the movie is that is regularly sets up situations you think you have figured out, and then it takes a turn you hadn’t expected. Which isn’t to say it’s incoherent … by the end of the movie, it all makes sense, in a B-movie kind of way. It’s clever, it’s meta, it’s a lot of things that are normally pretty boring, but In Joss We Trust, so it’s good clever, it’s good meta. The final 20 minutes or so are eye-poppingly gory (my mouth was open the entire time, although one friend in our group said it was a boring example of too much CGI and red-colored corn syrup). There are so many references to other movies and TV shows that you lose track (the IMBD lists 15 “movie connections”, including the Evil Dead movies, 30s horror classics, and the video game Left 4 Dead, and that seems like too small a number … just to note two obvious ones from TV, there’s Scooby-Doo and Dollhouse). I’m trying to talk about this movie without giving anything away about this movie, which explains my rather vague comments. I can only say that it worked for me. 8/10.