A horror film starring Kiwi actress Anna Hutchison that's been praised for reinventing the genre will screen as past of this year's New Zealand Film Festival.

Cabin in the Woods, written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard, was hailed as "genius" by one reviewer, and has a 90 per cent approval rating on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

Starring former Underbelly and Shortland Street star Hutchison, it involves five friends holidaying to a log cabin, only for things to go horribly - and unpredictably - wrong.

Recent reports suggested the hyped film, which was released on April 13 in the US, wouldn't be released in New Zealand and Australian cinemas and would only go out on DVD.


A Roadshow spokesperson would only say they were investigating a theatrical release in New Zealand for the film and an announcement was due shortly.

But the film will screen as part of the Incredibly Strange section of the New Zealand Film Festival, due to begin on July 19. Organiser Ant Timpson confirmed the news on Facebook, saying Cabin in the Woods would screen at The Civic in Auckland, and at the Embassy in Wellington.

"Now you can witness the genre-bending greatness of the most acclaimed horror film in years up on the enormous Civic and Embassy screens," Timpson said.

"This will be your chance to prove to local distributors that you want to see these sorts of titles get a theatrical (release). If you don't turn up to see this, then don't be surprised if you never see (it) play on NZ screens."

Timpson told nzherald.co.nz that more screenings of the film would be likely, and tickets should be purchased well in advance as it was likely to sell out.

That's news that will surely please the 842 people who signed a Facebook petition to get the film into theatres.

"This is a film made to be seen with a crowd and you will not find a more eager bunch of people willing to spend our money to see it presented properly, than us. This film has an audience waiting in Australia and New Zealand," said the petition's organiser.

"Please do not deny us this experience!"

Watch the trailer for Cabin in the Woods here.

- Herald online