The Cabin In The Woods is an American horror comedy about a group of college kids who spent a weekend in a mysterious cabin in the woods. Produced and directed by Goddard from a script by both, the film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford.
In a high tech underground facility, controllers Sitterson and Hadley discuss plans for a mysterious operation. A similar operation undertaken by their counterparts in Stockholmhas just ended in failure.
American college students Dana, Holden, Marty, Jules, and Curt are spending their weekend at a seemingly deserted cabin in the forest. From their control room, Sitterson and Hadley manipulate the students by intoxicating them with mind-altering drugs that hinder rational thinking and increase libido. They take bets from coworkers as to what kind of monster will attack the students and discuss the failures of similar rites in other nations.
In the cabin's cellar, the group finds many bizarre objects, including the diary of Patience Buckner, a cabin resident abused by her sadistic family. Dana recites incantations from the journal, inadvertently summoning the zombified Buckner family despite Marty's warnings. By releasing pheromones, Hadley successfully induces Curt and Jules to have sex. Attacked by the marauding Buckner zombies, Jules is decapitated while Curt escapes to alert the group. Marty, a frequent marijuana smoker, discovers concealed surveillance equipment before being dragged off by one of the Buckners. Later, the facility workers learn that the rite in Japan has also ended in failure, meaning that the American rite is humanity's last hope. It becomes apparent that the rite involves blood sacrifice.
Curt, Holden, and Dana attempt to escape in their RV, but Sitterson triggers a tunnel collapse to block them. Curt jumps a ravine on his motorcycle in an attempt to flee and alert the authorities, only to crash into a force field, killing him. Holden and Dana retreat to the RV to plan their next move, but one of the Buckners, hiding within all along, fatally stabs Holden as they are driving away, resulting in the RV crashing and sinking into a lake. Dana escapes and swims ashore and is beset in turn. As she is attacked, Sitterson, Hadley, and their colleagues celebrate the successful completion of the rite, viewing the events from the control room. The celebration is interrupted by a phone call pointing out that Marty has survived. His heavy marijuana use has apparently rendered him immune to Sitterson and Hadley's manipulations.
Marty rescues Dana and takes her to a hidden elevator he discovered under a grave. They descend into the underground facility, where a menagerie of monsters is imprisoned. Dana correlates them with the objects in the cabin's cellar and realizes that those items gave victims the opportunity to choose the agents of their own deaths during the rite. Cornered by the facility's security personnel, she and Marty release the monsters, all of which wreak havoc and slaughter the staff; Hadley is killed by a merman and Sitterson escapes to the lower level.
Dana and Marty flee the carnage. Dana accidentally mortally wounds Sitterson, who begs her to kill Marty. Fleeing further, they discover an ancient temple and are confronted by the facility's leader, known only as The Director. She explains that they are participating in an annual ritual sacrifice to appease the Ancient Ones (described as "giant evil gods"). Each facility's rite conforms to the rules of that region's local lore; in America young people are chosen to be sacrificed based on similarity to certain archetypes: the whore (Jules), the athlete (Curt), the scholar (Holden), the fool (Marty), and the virgin (Dana). In order to complete the rite, the whore must die first and the virgin must survive or die last. Since all other facilities have failed, the penalty for not completing the rite is the extermination of the entire human race. Hence, The Director urges Dana to kill Marty. Dana considers, but she is interrupted by a werewolf attack, while zombie Patience Buckner appears and kills The Director.
Deciding that humanity is not worth saving, Dana and Marty share a joint while awaiting their fate. The temple floor collapses and a giant hand emerges, destroying the facility and the cabin itself.
- Richard Jenkins as Steve Hadley
- Bradley Whitford as Richard Sitterson
- Jodelle Ferland as Patience Bruckener
- Jesse Williams as Holden McCrea
- Chris Hemsworth as Curt Vaughan
- Anna Hutchison as Jules Louden
- Keith David as The Director
- Fran Kranz as Marty Mikalski
- Kristen Connolly as Dana Polk
- Brian J. White as Alex Truman
- Amy Acker as Wendy Lin
- Tom Lenk as Ronald
- Tyler Onassis as Nosferatu
- Patrick Gilmore as Wrangler
- Chelah Horsdal as Demo Girl
- Peter Kelamis as Demo Guy
- Kayden Kessler as Ashton Douglas
- Patrick Sabongui as Elevator Guard