Staring Kristen Connolly (Dana), Chris Hemsworth (Curt), Anna Hutchinson (Jules), Fran Kranz (Marty), Jesse Williams (Holden), Richard Jenkins (Sitterson) and Bradley Whitford (Hadley).
Bless Joss Whedon. Cabin in the Woods is an homage to every horror movie ever made. Whedon takes all they classic tropes and gives them a slight twist. He must also love Evil Dead because there’s a strong ED vibe throughout the entire movie. A review I read called it “a horror movie within a comedy within a horror movie” and they’re right. It isn’t outright funny, but you will be laughing outloud (and some will be nervous “holy crap” laughs).
Being Joss Whedon there are also easter eggs scattered through the movie. You can find a listing of some at Viewer Discretion Advised (there are spoilers in the link so be careful). There are also appearances by various Whedon alums such as Amy Aker (Angel) and Tom Lenk (Buffy, Angel). I think there were others because some of the character actors looked familiar.
My mother chose to go along with me to see it which was surprising. She doesn’t like horror movies (and I hate to go to them with her because she asks questions). My sister and I have gotten her hooked on Joss Whedon works though including Firefly. We both loved the movie. When we left the theater we couldn’t stop smiling and talking about it. As mom said, “now that’s a happy ending.” And it was a typical Joss Whedon happy ending.
I still don’t get the unicorn though.
Spoiler section ahead. [ You can always count on Joss Whedon to create a smart, layered production that makes the viewer think while keeping them entertained. The first few minutes, while a little dull, gives contrast to later in the film when the characters are forced into their roles. Dana is very definitely not a virgin since she slept with her professor. Jules is smart and playful but not a sex kitten. Curt gives excellent recommendations for reading material for Dana's classes (and is apparently a sociology major) and not a sexist jock. Holden is an athlete but becomes the "egghead." Marty, while a pothead, is not the fool as he grasps the situation first and remains in control. Whedon takes what are generally not well fleshed out characters and gives them depth.
I'm a massive Evil Dead fan so I was thrilled that he pulled so much from it. Everything about the cabin screamed Rami and then on the betting board mentioned deadites. Whedon's nods to others movies from the genre are respectful with a touch of self deprecating humor.
I think this is going to be one of those movies that you can watch repeatedly and find something new each time whether a reference to another movie or a new aspect of the sociopolitical commentary that is scattered throughout Whedon's work.
Now I just need someone to explain what movie the unicorn was referencing. I still don't get that as a nightmare. ]