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Larry Fessenden

Cinematic 'Until Dawn' sets its sights higher than typical horror fare

"Until Dawn" appears to be the horror genre at its most recognizable. There's a cabin in the woods, of course, and a cast of good-looking actors playing a type rather than a character — the jock, the blond, the class goof. The bulk of them are really quite horrible people, in fact.

There are scary movie tropes aplenty. Yes, there's a clown mask, and there's even a scene involving a Ouija board. One extended sequence has actress Hayden Panettiere in a towel. Open a cabinet, and out will come a rat, launching directly at you as if a spring board was built under the bathroom sink.

Yet amid all these cliched ideas are rather ambitious ones. This silly B-movie of a...