The tagline of the new horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” is something like, “You think you know the story.” And, yes, you think you do.
It's a typical setup. Five college students — the athlete, the brain, the scarlet woman (euphemism), the joker and the virgin — decide to spend the weekend at a remote lake cabin. But this is no ordinary lake cabin. And the movie itself is no standard horror movie.
It would be unfair to say exactly how it happens, but the filmmakers — director Drew Goddard but especially co-screenwriter and producer Joss Whedon — take the standard convention and stand it on its head. In the end, they may not be quite as clever and groundbreaking as they think. But they do offer up a couple of surprises along the way.
So, yeah, you think you know the story. And you do. At least part of it. But the rest, the important parts, are straight out of the mind of the guy who re-created the vampire story and found an original way to tell a tale of science fiction.
By the way, watch out for the merman.