The Cabin in the Woods is up there with The Artist and Midnight in Paris, as it is another love letter to filmmaking, particularly of the horror persuasion. It is a love letter that calls for the revival of storytelling in the genre. Born out of a response to the cookie-cutter, gimmick-banking horror movies of late, where you can mentally check off what’s going to happen next, this movie truly dissects the genre with nods to its antecedents.

Behind this film are Joss Whedon (Avengers), who co-wrote and produced Cabin, and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) who co-wrote and directed this trip into the woods. These creative minds are most well known for being the major forces behind “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Now together again, they have come up with a new concept that is a game-changer in the horror genre, that still retains a humorous self-awareness that is signature of the duo dating back to their “Buffy” days.

The invitation for movie-goers is simple: It’s April, and nothing major is out yet (cough-AVENGERS-cough). Horror movies are always a safe bet! They’re the movies to go to for a good time. In this particular horror flick, five friends go off into the woods for some fun, but know that something terrible is going to happen to them.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) plays the archetypal jock Curt, along with some very lovely ladies; newcomers Kristen Connolly, who plays the “final girl” Dana, and Anna Hutchinson who plays Jules, the “slutty hot friend.” Rounding out the cast are Fran Kranz playing the comedic “stoner” Marty, and Jesse Williams as the “smart kid” Holden.

A dare leads the gang into a cellar filled with bizarre artifacts. Dana opens up an old journal that tells a harrowing account of torture, and includes a mysterious incantation.

“I’m drawing a line in the fucking sand here! Do not read the Latin…” Marty interjects, but does Dana listen? Well, I’m sure you know the answer to that question.

If you’re looking for a movie with jumps, laughs and, of course, kills to share with friends or a date snuggled close – or even a date with a wicked grin on their face quite enjoying the ride – this is a must-see.

And do expect the unexpected.

Horror fans, Whedon enthusiasts and film buffs alike will find something that speaks to them in this descent into a fantastic celebration of nightmarish proportions.

Grade: A+

The Cabin in the Woods is now playing.