The Cabin in the Woods is a post modern horror film which is really fucking weird, and often with post modern texts, the words weird and brilliant can used interchangeably. Reminiscent of Weir's The Truman Show, The Cabin in the Woods depicts a group of young adults spending a weekend at a deserted cabin while being manipulated by an external force. Installed cameras in the cabin allow the force to monitor the group and influence their actions in order to create a typical horror movie scenario and appease the unseen audience of the situation.
(Dana, Marty, Curt, Jules, Holden)
Each of the group members are assigned traditional character roles that are typically found in horror films. However, from the start, it is clear the members are not two-dimensional and their individual personalities extend beyond the traditional roles they represent. For instance, the 'Virgin' is not actually a virgin, being previously involved in an affair with a professor, the Braun is knowledgeable and the Whore is in a healthy, monogamous relationship. Early into the movie, it is clear that the supposed 'Fool'/stoner Marty has the most common sense in the group, which deliberately subverts the expectations we have as an audience towards his character. This is what makes the movie so great, it critiques horror film conventions while commenting on how such films are constructed to appeal to mass audiences.
Keeping in mind the aforementioned parallel to the Truman Show, The Cabin in the Woods similarly uses a physically created simulacrum of the cabin to depict the creation of a movie within a movie. However, like Truman and the Truman Show, the simulation of reality of the cabin will inevitably collide with force that creates the simulation. The realisation of this is one of the greatest moments of the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed The Cabin in the Woods very much. It has a lot of postmodern elements that added depth to the film, a lot of which I didn't even notice until reading about it afterwards. There are some funny moments and some scenes that will make you squirm, but I do believe more viewings are required to fully appreciate how fucking clever this movie is.