It occurred to me last night as I left the theater that I’d underestimated just how much I was going to enjoy the new horror film The Cabin in the Woods. The trailers and critics have been hyping it up over the last few weeks. People said it was great, which is partially what motivated me to get to a midnight screening last night. But even with my expectations set almost unreasonably high, I found myself leaving the theater with a ridiculous grin on my face, and so much to say about the movie.

Rest assured, there isn’t so much as the hint of a spoiler in this article. In fact, there’s no specific character or plot discussion mentioned. All you need to know about Cabin going into it, is that it’s a horror film full of violence and laced with comedy. If the premise alone hasn’t sold you, here are five reasons to see it in the theater this weekend.

1. Critics haven’t oversold it... yet, anyway.
I say this at the risk of over-selling the movie, myself, however, between my love for Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, added to every positive thing I’d heard about the film since its debut at SXSW, I thought for sure my expectations would be far too high to be met. The Cabin in the Woods really was the most fun I’ve had in the theater in a long time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I left the movies feeling quite as entertained and satisfied.

2. This is a movie-theater movie.
I’ll be among the first to gripe about the cost of seeing a movie in the theater these days, and express my appreciation for Redbox, Netflix, Amazon On Demand and any other significantly less expensive alternative to movie-watching. However, The Cabin in the Woods is a movie-theater-movie through and through. It’s less about how great it looks (though their are some truly excellent big screen moments) as it is about sharing the experience with a theater full of people, many of whom, based on my own experience during last night’s midnight screening, will be gasping, laughing and cheering right along.

3. The trailers haven’t spoiled it.

There are ways to spoil this movie, but much of what’s “spoil”-able isn’t in a “twist” or some major character development. By yesterday, I felt like I’d seen too much of the film from the trailers already, however Cabin is as much about the story and the horror as it is a series of great moments, be them scary, funny, intense or just surprising. On an individual level, any of the moments featured in the trailer could technically be considered spoilers, and yet, they don’t detract from the movie as a whole when factoring in the context and built up momentum of the film. The trailers sell the movie well, but they barely scratch the surface of what Cabin has to offer.

4. Your friends haven’t spoiled it yet.
As mentioned previously, Cabin is full of great moments, many of which will likely have people talking about the film in the days or weeks to come. I could rattle off five or six one-word references to the movie that would likely earn a smile from anyone who’s seen it. It’s really that kind of movie. Of course, I wouldn’t do that as I wouldn’t want to spoil the experience for anyone, but others might not be so considerate. If they like it as much as I did, they’ll want to talk and laugh about it with their friends, and you will too. Save yourself the anxiety of having to cover your ears when the subject comes up and check it out this weekend.

5. This movie deserves a great opening weekend at the box office.
I generally prefer not to obsess over box office numbers, as dollar signs aren’t always a good indication of the quality of a film. With that said, The Cabin in the Woods is a movie well worth the cost of a ticket, and it’s truly worthy of a successful opening weekend. I’m actually tempted to go see it again, but that’s less about contributing more money to the box office as it is already wanting more. I also have a feeling Cabin may be layered with moments easily missed in a first viewing, especially as laughter may have drowned out a line or two.

The Cabin in the Woods is an answer to the argument that there’s nothing good in the theaters these days. The movie delivers, and it’s a whole lot of fun to see surrounded by friends, horror fans and other enthusiastic movie-goers up for a night of scares and laughs. If you think it looks good. Don’t wait. See it this weekend.

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