Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Goddard, Cabin in the Woods is one of the more entertaining horror movies to hit the big screen in the last few years.

The film almost didn’t even make it to theatres. Shot in 2009, the movie became entangled in MGM’s bankruptcy and was eventually sold off to Lionsgate who finally released it earlier this year. The film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams as a group of college students going to a cabin in the woods like many, many other horror movies before them. The film also stars Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins as two men in charge of some sort of project.

To reveal anymore of the plot is to destroy one of the great pleasures of watching this film, trying to figure out what the heck is going on. My fellow cohorts Paul and Aidan ruined the movie for me on a past episode of prairie dog’s podcast Ultrasonic Alarm Call and I refuse to wreck the film for anyone else who hasn’t seen it yet. That said the film is a brilliant piece of comedy and horror, dancing between satirizing horror movies and paying homage to them. Joss Whedon said “On another level it’s a serious critique of what we love and what we don’t about horror movies. I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful. The things that I don’t like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had swung a little too far in that direction.” Whatever it is, it’s a lot of gruesome fun.