Enormously fun, playful and scary
Such anticipation could kill a movie. So does it live up to it?
Joss Whedon fans will be relieved to find the strong, likeable characters shine through, as does the smart, funny dialogue, with memorable lines aplenty.
Equally, the darkly funny and sacrastic humour found in all the works mentioned above is rife here, with several gags that had the cinema in guffaws. But even better? The horror has bite. Blood gushes, weapons slash, and the audience gasped in shock multiple times.
It may be a smart, funny horror, but it's a horror behind all the brains. And it's thrilling to have one that panders to the brains in us at the same time as the gorehound. While the plot is necessarily off-limits, due to a plot that plays with and toys with the audience from the get-go, it's a terrific idea, and it justifies all of the chaos and carnage that follows with a tremendous bravado.
The effects are great, the director is excellent, loading moments with the perfect tone every time, and the timing of the gags and the gore is bang-on.
So has the hype worked against it? No. If anything, the curtain of secrecy helps enhance the insanity of the second half of the film. Now lets all just hope like hell that they decide to protect the franchise and not try to farm it out for any dreadful cut-price sequels.
A genuine horror gem.