13 greatest horror movies of the last 13 years: '28 Days Later,' 'The Descent' and more
6. 'The Cabin in the Woods'
Release date: 2012
Scare factor (1-10): 7
Why it's great: Deconstructing a genre can be dangerous because you risk killing everything that makes it work. "Cabin In The Woods" plays an aggressive game from the opening moments, commenting on the structure and archetypes of horror films while also functioning as an actual horror film, and somehow, they pull it off. There's an incredibly clever framework to hold it all together and explain it, but again… clever doesn't always actually work. A great cast that knows exactly what tone to play helps, and Drew Goddard's direction expresses a huge fondness for the genre while never once defanging it. By the time the film's off-the-charts wacko ending rolls around, it feels earned, and the film takes the impressive tact of rendering any and all sequels pointless, something more horror films should do.
- Drew McWeeny