13. The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is one of the few films I’ve ever seen that gets better every time you watch it. Produced by wunderperson Joss Whedon, the film is an incredibly multi-layered metahorror masterpiece, both a genuinely scary thrill ride and a necessary satire on the costs of our own entertainment. Michael Haneke’s abominable Funny Games attempted the same thing, punishing us for our Hitchcockian desires, but Cabin isn’t as judgmental in its commentary. The film is a loving homage to the history of the slasher film, from Friday the 13th to I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Cabin in the Woods actually rewards you for having seen other horror films. That’s right, readers: A horror movie exists that applauds audiences for being smart and ahead of the curve. This is a game that Joss Whedon wants you to win. After all, humanity’s fate may depend upon it.