The Cabin In the Woods
I had heard good things about The Cabin In the Woods. Greatest Horror Movie In Years™ type things. So of course, I missed it in the theaters and had to wait until Christmas when I got it for a present to actually see it. Even then I waited about two weeks because I am a giant slacker. I don't know if I'd say it was the "greatest in years" but it was certainly an awesome film.
I think part of its appeal is the way it turns most of the horror movie conventions on their heads. That always has a broad level of appeal to people. Look at Scream, which did something similar. People love the shit out of that movie, myself included. Not just because it satirizes the very type of movie it is, but because it frames a good story in that satire. Cabin does much of the same thing, but instead of merely calling out to other slasher films and tropes, it actually gives an explanation behind them that revealing would spoil the surprise.
Five young men and women go to a cabin in the woods, but the terror they find isn't quite what you would expect, even though all the hallmarks of the genre are there. And that's where it shines. Of course it's from writer Joss Whedon, who likes poking genres with a stick and seeing what makes them tick and taking you along for the fun ride. The cast includes Thor, who sadly does not get smitten with a hammer and a bunch of people I don't really recognize, save for the guy who played Andrew on Buffy. At least on the side of the hapless campers. In the concurrent story, there are a bunch of familiar faces to choose from, like Amy Acker and Bradley Whitford.
I'd like to go into more depth with it, but I think even revealing a little bit might go to far in spoiling some of the fun for you, so I'll refrain. Just know that it's funny, bloody, witty and one hell of a ride. I do have some issues with the ending, but it's nothing major. They could have alleviated that by simply shifting some of the material to the end and it would have been fine. As it stands, it feels a little sudden. A minor quibble in an otherwise fantastic film.
Check it out.