If it's crap ... We'll tell you
After a development process as twisted and puzzling as its first poster, 'The Cabin in the Woods' will finally see the light of day. It has just been announced that the Drew Goddard horror film, co-written by Joss Whedon, will open the SxSW Film Festival right here in Austin, TX in March. The film has only had one other "public" screening during Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-A-Thon last month, also in Austin, but the SxSW screening will be its official world premiere. The film is the story of a group of friends heading off to, you guessed it, a cabin in the woods where several supernatural events begin to occur; promising a twist on the familiar horror trope. Kristen Connolly ('Revolutionary Road'), Chris Hemsworth ('Thor'), and Bradley Whitford ('Studio 60') will star. 'The Cabin in the Woods' went through a carousel of changing release dates as well as a studio hand-off, and looked, for quite some time, as if it might get permanently shelved.
Obviously this is awesome news for anyone attending SxSW, and therefore all those who aren't attending may presently hate us more than usual, but I can't stress enough how awesome this news is for anyone interested in this film. The response that it could potentially garner at a major film festival like SxSW could mean the difference between a mega wide release, during which you would have the ability to catch it at your local multiplex, and a cautious limited release in which you may have to drive a few towns over to catch it or wait for rental. Yes, I know it has already got a theatrical release date, but the number of screens on which Lionsgate intends to release the film is still uncertain and can definitely change at the last minute depending on the reaction from SxSW. The good news is that SxSW's audience is typically extremely receptive to genre film so it is poised to make exactly the impact it needs to in order to secure that mega wide release. Of course, this is all predicated on the assumption that the film is good; something to which I cannot testify. But if 'The Cabin in the Woods' manages to meet our expectations and achieve true horror excellence, it's now in a prime position to take advantage of response from exactly the right crowd.
'The Cabin in the Woods' is slated for an April 13th theatrical release.