Director: Drew Goddard
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsowrth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Brian White, Amy Acker, Jodelle Ferland

Give it up for the year’s most difficult-to-market movie, a meta-horror-comedy so ambitiously self-aware that its distributors had no choice but to sell it as a generic slasher movie. Written by Joss “Mr. Avengers” Whedon and first-time director Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods inevitably suffered a quick demise at the box office, surely on its way to cult infamy and home video glory. Is that fate frustrating for all of us who quote-unquote “got” it? No question, but we’re also just happy that it exists.

Deconstructing nearly every overused horror movie trope in the book, The Cabin in the Woods winks at savvy genre fans in every scene, all while delivering several genuine shocks and a plethora of intelligently comedic moments. And then comes the see-it-to-believe-it final act, a fan-pleasing climax that’s both totally batshit and amazingly generous. Even if general audiences didn’t pay attention, we passionate horror lovers salute you, sirs Whedon and Goddard.