The Cabin in the Woods is a 2011 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. It stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford. The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin where they fall victim to backwoods zombies while technicians manipulate events from an underground facility.
Goddard and Whedon, having worked together previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, wrote the screenplay in three days, describing it as an attempt to "revitalize" the slasher film genre and as a critical satire on torture porn. The special effects, monster costumes, special makeup, and prosthetic makeup for the film were done by AFX Studio. Filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia from March to May 2009 on an estimated budget of $30 million.
The film was originally slated for release on February 5, 2010, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists, but was indefinitely shelved due to financial difficulties. In 2011, Lionsgate picked up the distribution rights. The film premiered in December 2011 at the Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival in Austin, Texas and was released in the United States on April 13, 2012, grossing over $66 million worldwide. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its screenplay, tone, and performances.