The 2012 SXSW Film Festival opened with the world premiere of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a film that outwardly appears like a new spin on the classic teenage slasher movie but is ultimately about — and I supposed this is a little bit of a SPOILER, if a film’s themes can be spoiled — movies and their audiences: why they’re made, why they’re watched, and the lengths filmmakers go to please their viewers, even if their viewers are bloodthirsty bastards. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS’ central metaphor, brilliantly developed by director/co-writer Drew Goddard and producer/co-writer Joss Whedon over the course of a film that is funny, scary, and very smart, is specifically about horror movies. But it applies equally well to films of all genres, and particularly to the sort of stuff that premieres at film festivals, where directors often spend years of their lives and every dollar they have for the opportunity to present their vision of the world to an audience.
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