— by Jeff Schultz

Meta is seldom betta. CABIN IN THE WOODS (the remake) meets THE LAKE HOUSE in this slasher genre sendup, which also functions nicely as a parable of loss and acceptance. More funny than scary, and surprisingly tame in the gore department, it benefits from a cast that can handle multiple layers of reality. If the irony of the mother-daughter relationship(s) gets a bit thick at times, we can forgive, because it’s carried along by a screenplay that’s clever enough to delight, but not smug or overcomplicated. Adam DeVine is an inspired choice for the most sex-crazed (and obnoxious) of the movie-within-the-movie’s party kids. And Malin Ackerman, such a knockout on “The Comeback”, shines in a slightly older role. The movie is also visually rich, with differing looks for each layer — present-day, 1980’s horror flick, and the combination of the two when the time warp occurs. Plus, the final joke makes for a perfect ending, maybe the best laugh of all.

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